Instant Messaging, or IM, has been something mainly used between computer users; “computer” being a workstation, desktop, or laptop. Sure, there have been IM clients around for some mobile phones and other gadgets, but until recently, many users have opted out on the use-your-cell-to-chat for a number of reasons. One reason is that it’s been considered something “geeks” do. Another reason has been that most mobile phones sold until recently haven’t been so-called smartphones.
Slowly but surely, with the arrival of iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, and too many Android-based phones to keep track of, the smartphone market is set to explode (brace for impact). With more smartphones being sold, so is also the number of data subscriptions; in other words a mobile phone carrier plan that allows for a certain amount of data to be transmitted through the mobile data network. Many people choose a flat-fee data plan that allows “unlimited” data.
Two manufactures of Android-based smartphones have also seen a different kind of light; SonyEricsson with their X10 Mini (and X10 Mini Pro) and HTC with their Tattoo and Wildfire products. These phones stand out in the way that they are aimed at users that don’t necessarily want to look like they’re conducting the Vienna Philharmonics, in other words, they’re small 🙂 The SonyEricsson X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro are really small (too small some would say). But they have one thing in common, they are fairly affordable while sporting a lot of the smartphone functionality.
So what does this have to do with Skype? Quite a bit, if you ask me.