iPhone Allowing Skype Over 3G, Verizon & AT&T Getting Android Handsets, iPhone Exclusivity Ending In Canada


There has been a bevy of wireless news in the past couple of days (some of which actually affects us New Yorkers), and I’ve been meaning to post about it or Twitter about it, or something, so here’s my attempt to catch you up.

In a move that looks conciliatory, but really kind of seems like a big who cares when you think about it, AT&T bowing to pressure federal regulators, in its beneficence, has decided to let iPhone users use Skype over 3G as opposed to Wi-Fi only. I don’t really know anyone that exceeds their minutes on their iPhone, nor do I know anyone who really uses the Skype app either, but hey, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a stick. I can see this as a boon for people use their cell phone to call long distance a lot, but like I said, other than that, it seems like a bit of a non-event.

In other wireless news, still smarting from the AT&T/iPhone exclusivity deal (I mean, they have to be smarting right?), Verizon has decided to try and go the other way, and partner up with Google and Android for a new batch of handsets. (Can a Zune handset be far behind?)

Verizon and Google plan to co-develop several Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with applications from both parties as well as from third-party developers. A family of Android phones built for the Verizon Wireless network will come from “leading handset manufacturers,” according to a statement issued by the two companies.

The agreement will come to fruition within the next few weeks as Verizon Wireless introduces Android-based handsets. [InternetNews.com]

Not to be outdone, according to a report in the Wall St Journal, AT&T is planning on launching a new Android phone in early 2010 in partnership with Dell.

Finally, In news that is sure to make the next episode of CommandN, Rogers is about to lose its exclusive deal as Canada’s only iPhone carrier when rivals Bell Canada and Telus Corp. start selling them next month. Perhaps a little competition will give Canucks a break on their monthly phone bills (Canadians used to have the highest cost of iPhone ownership in the world):

Bell announced Monday that it will launch national service in November on the $1-billion next-generation wireless network it has been building with Telus, months ahead of schedule. The project extends the two companies’ existing third-generation (3G) networks to include the same technology standard employed by Rogers, the nation’s largest cellphone company. [GlobeandMail.com]