John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Skype Finally Coming to New BlackBerrys: Q10 Next Month, Z10 Later

BlackBerry 10 still doesn’t have native Instagram, and it’s not getting Netflix anytime soon, but there is one marquee app that’s headed its way: Skype.

Three months after promising Skype for BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry says the Internet telephony service’s app is finally on its way to its next-generation operating system. The struggling smartphone maker said this week that Skype will be available for its new Q10 Qwerty handset on launch day. That’s May 1 in Canada, and sometime before the end of May in the U.S.

Note that Skype’s May debut is limited solely to the Q10. The full-touchscreen Z10, which preceded it to market, isn’t expected to offer Skype support until “a few weeks” after its launch on the Q10. Pressed for more specificity, BlackBerry would say only: “Skype for BlackBerry Z10 customers will be available when 10.1 is rolled out in the coming weeks.”

Is that “coming weeks,” as in less than a month? Or “coming weeks,” as in “as many as we need until we actually get the thing out the door?” Tough to say.

Anyway … Skype’s forthcoming debut on BB10 is good news for BlackBerry. Mobile platforms are only as strong as their app ecosystems. And support for top-tier apps like Skype are absolutely crucial to BlackBerry’s turnaround and continued relevance in the smartphone industry. The introduction could see some rough spots, though: In the course of reviewing the Q10, Katie Boehret ran into trouble when she tried the Skype app a couple of times, with her caller unable to see her video.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google