Skype coming to BlackBerry 10 with launch of Q10 smartphone


Skype will extend its over-the-top calling and messaging application to the BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) 10 platform with the release of the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, slated for commercial release early next month.

A BlackBerry spokesperson confirmed the Skype app's imminent release in an email to FierceMobileContent.

Skype will port its existing app for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android to the BlackBerry platform. The BlackBerry 10 SDK includes the BlackBerry Runtime for Android, enabling developers to port and repackage applications originally written for the Google OS. Roughly 20 percent of all BlackBerry 10 are ports of apps originally developed Android, BlackBerry Vice President for Global Alliances and Business Development Martyn Mallick told All Things D last month.

Skype for Android offers free voice and video calling alongside IM, SMS, photo sharing and file sharing. The application supports both Wi-Fi and 3G. In addition to Android and BlackBerry, Skype supports parent firm Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS.

Skype for BlackBerry will compete head-to-head with rival messaging offerings including the operating system's signature BlackBerry Messenger. Roughly three out of every four BlackBerry device owners use BlackBerry Messenger, corresponding to about 60 million users worldwide.

More than 45 percent of smartphone owners now use some form of instant messaging or over-the-top messaging app in addition to or instead of traditional SMS, according to a survey conducted in late 2012 by Analysys Mason. In addition, 20 percent of consumers use a VoIP app, and 20 percent within that segment use it more than conventional voice services. Analysys Mason notes that Skype dominates the VoIP market, with 79 percent of VoIP app users/16 percent of all respondents embracing the service.

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