Nokia to preload Skype onto handsets beginning in Q3

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In a fairly huge win for VoIP fans everywhere, Skype and Nokia have just announced a partnership to preload Skype onto handsets beginning later this year.

But they’re not just throwing the app onto the devices and calling it a day – the integration will run at least contact list deep. Once you’ve tied Skype contacts to their relative contacts in your address book, their Skype status will appear right within the contact list. Both text and voice chat will be supported over 3G or WiFi.

The first Nokia device to get the Skype-treatment will be the N97, beginning in Q3 of 2009.

Full release after the jump.

Skype and Nokia Partner to Integrate Skype into Nokia Devices
Mobile World Congress 2009

BARCELONA, Spain–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skype and Nokia today announced a partnership that will bring the world’s leading Internet communications experience to the Nokia range of mobile computers. Under the terms of the cooperation, Skype™ will be integrated into Nokia devices, starting with the Nokia Nseries. The Nokia N97 flagship device will be the first to incorporate the Skype experience in the 3rd quarter of 2009.

The Skype experience will be part of the address book of the Nokia N97, enabling presence – seeing when Skype contacts are online – as well as instant messaging. Nokia N97 owners around the world will also be able to use 3G and WLAN to easily make and receive free Skype-to-Skype voice calls, in addition to low-cost Skype calls to landlines and mobile devices.

“Making Skype available everywhere through mobile devices is essential to fulfilling our vision of ‘enabling the world’s conversations’,” said Scott Durchslag, Skype’s Chief Operating Officer. “Collaborating closely with Nokia to preload and integrate our software onto their devices will benefit the many Nokia customers who already use Skype, as it makes Skype easily accessible and simple to use on the go. It will also bring Skype new users who love Nokia’s Symbian S60 experience.”

“With more than 400 million Skype users worldwide, the integration of Skype on Nokia Nseries mobile computers is a significant step in bringing converged Internet experiences from the desktop to the world’s most advanced mobile computer,” said Jose-Luis Martinez, Vice President, Nokia Nseries.

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. We make a wide range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more. Developing and growing our offering of consumer Internet services, as well as our enterprise solutions and software, is a key area of focus. We also provide equipment, solutions and services for communications networks through Nokia Siemens Networks.

About Skype

Founded in 2003, Skype is revolutionizing the way people communicate around the world. Skype has more than 405 million registered users globally who use Skype software to communicate for free through voice and video calls as well as instant messages. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings, such as calls made to and from landlines and mobiles, voicemail, call forwarding, and SMS. Skype is used in almost every country on Earth, and people have made more than 100 billion minutes worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls. Conversations over Skype can take place on computers, mobile devices and Skype Certified™ hardware. Skype certifies and sells hundreds of hardware products from more than 50 partners, and works with hundreds of third-party developers who have created plug-ins to extend Skype’s functionality.

Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). Learn more and download Skype at http://www.skype.com.

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