Outrage? Did you really expect to use Skype for iPhone over 3G?

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Help me out here. The iPhone version of Skype was released the other day; it’s Wi-Fi-only, but it’s a VoIP product, so I don’t understand from where the outrage is coming. Do people, e.g. the Consumers Union, expect AT&T to subsidize the phone to the tune of hundreds of dollars, and then allow you to use some other provider exclusively? A “dance with the one who brung you” sort of scenario.

Of course, I understand the value of Skype. I lived in Europe for a few months last year, and used Skype to call New York without paying Telefónica €8 zillion a minute. But to expect AT&T permit you to use this or any competing service when it, in a very real sense, is footing the bill for your phone (granted, unless you buy it without a contract), seems silly to me.

Skype, like any VoIP product, needs to play by Apple and AT&T’s rules, as our little graphic illustrates in such terrific detail.

And despite all this, the FCC may well look into updating the rules to prevent AT&T (and Apple) from limiting what you can put on your device, in the interest of an open Internet.

So we’ll see, I guess. I just don’t understand all the brouhaha.

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