Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Skype on iPhone for Canadians

by alec on March 31, 2009

I was a little irritated at all the Skype for iPhone news that popped up over the weekend.  After all, Skype usually at least gives me the courtesy of a heads-up, and the opportunity to test drive their new software. Not a peep, however. 

And then last night, at around midnight, the first twitter reports started to emerge that Skype for iPhone was available on the App Store.  No joy for me.  I couldn’t find it.  I put it down to Apple or Skype choosing a rolling launch – not an uncommon strategy.

But this morning?  Well, the IM nets and twitter were all alive with reports that Skype for iPhone was available globally… just not here in Canada.  And the culprit?  A lot of fingers pointed at Rogers Wireless, but in fact patents are the real reason.  TMCNet’s Tom Keating was able to eek a little more information out of Skype, including the details that the patent problem is codec related

There have been, over the years, a number of very sharp vendors of codec technologies in this country. It’s not surprising that some unique intellectual property has been deeveloped here.  It is surprising, however, that a patent might have issued in Canada, but not elsewhere, unless that patent is fairly recent.

And it’s irritating to be cut off from yet another piece of technology that everyone else in the world can access over intellectual property issues… again.

Humbug.

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