Skype buys smartphone video star Qik
Friday 07 January 2011
Skype on Thursday closed a deal to buy Qik, a California startup that specializes in letting people use smartphones to stream video to Internet-linked friends in real time.
Skype chief executive Tony Bates announced the deal on the opening day of the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but wouldn't reveal financial details.
The acquisition comes with surging popularity of video chat using smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
"Mobile and video are becoming the way to communicate," Bates said. "We really think we've reached a tipping point with video."
Skype handled 24.7 percent of all minutes spent on international phone calls last year and 40 percent of calls between Skype users were video, according to the executive.
"Qik is a complement to what we do," Bates said.
Qik in 2008 launched the first public version of its software that lets people share video between smartphones and even through websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
"Qik has worked very hard to solve complex problems that allow millions of people everyday to take advantage of sharing their lives with those people who are most important to them," said Qik chief executive Vijay Tella.
Skype will be able to provide Qik resources and reach to beef the service up and introduce new features for the global market.
Acquiring Qik, meanwhile, saves Skype from having to build its own video chat service from the ground up.
Skype also launched at CES group services that allow people to make group video calls using desktop computers or mobile devices linked to the Internet.
Group video calling was available for a monthly subscription of 8.99 dollars as part of a premium Skype service.
Bates said Skype is also continuing its push into living rooms, expanding the line of televisions embedded with its Internet telephony service and even infusing the software in a Blu-ray player made by Panasonic.
Skype is also working with developers to put Skype software into a range of devices from Pandachip "nanny cams" used to watch over children to OnStar in-car navigation, communication and safety systems.
Skype, which recently announced it plans an initial public stock offering, said its goal is to reach "everyone on the planet, on whatever device."
As Apple and Google enhance video chat capabilities of smartphones and tablet computers based on their software, Skype will focus on letting people connect with each other despite using rival devices.
Video chat services such as Face Time only allow calls between users of Apple gadgets.
Skype announced in August that it plans the sale of an unspecified number of American depository shares on the Nasdaq exchange in an initial public offering.
Online auction giant eBay in 2009 sold Skype for some two billion dollars to an investment group that includes the two founders of the Web communications company.
The deal valued Skype at 2.75 billion dollars.
The firm, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg, bypasses the standard telephone network by channeling voice and video calls over the Internet.
It allows users to call others free of charge and provides the ability to connect with land lines or mobile devices at low rates.
Life & Style blogs
The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
From criminal to catwalk: Convict Jeremy Meeks wins modelling contract in the most unusual fashion scouting – behind bars
Prostate cancer could actually be five different diseases, say scientists
NHS treatments such as vasectomies and hip operations to be rationed because of cost-cutting
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
- 1 Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great company to work...
£21000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Systems Administrator is requ...