Skype buys smartphone video star Qik

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.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

    C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

    C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

    Web Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – Up to £43k

    £35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home