I wasn’t aware of this until the other day: Skype for Android (and apparently BlackBerry, too) is exclusive to Verizon. So if you’ve got an Android phone on another carrier, you can’t use Skype. This is where I’d normally make a wry joke about how great it is that Android is “open”, but I won’t.
It is a good example of how Android is open, though. In many ways, its openness is from the perspective of the carriers. The carriers can (and do) take Android and modify the default UI appearance. They add new un-deletable system apps. And they can make exclusive deals like this one with Skype.
I don’t think Apple would ever go for something like this. If and when the iPhone comes to Verizon, I can’t imagine Apple allowing an update to Skype that won’t run on non-Verizon iPhones.
★ Friday, 6 August 2010