By Jek Suen Lee on Tue, 01/04/2011
In the aftermath of the Skype-Fring split in July last year, Skype has finally caught up with Fring’s smartphone video-call capability by introducing its own. Since Skype has a larger user-base given that it also has software for PC and Mac while Fring is only available for smartphones, Skype clearly has the upperhand now and will probably grow its market share at the expense of alternative VoIP providers like Google Voice and Fring, even though some skeptics may say that the video call feature isn't necessarily a key feature at this point in time. (Picture taken from article on connectedphone.com)
Skype has disclosed that it reached 560million users in June 2010 with a revenue of $406.2 million in the first six months of 2010. Fring on the other hand, has a user base of an order of magnitude smaller, estimated to be in the tens of millions. However, there is clearly room for alternatives to Skype even without considering the importance of video calling to the mass market given that international call rates to mobile lines are still relatively pricey on Skype:
Call to Mobile Destination
8.4 to 15.6
United Arab Emirates
*Skype rates are based on the non-subscription Pay-as-you-go rates including VAT, and excludes any connection fee charges that are not listed.