The java based mobile thin Skype client works on around 50 of the most popular Java-enabled mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. The standard feature set includes chat, group chat, presence, receiving calls from Skype users, and through SkypeIn. The half pregnant part: Skype-to-Skype and SkypeOut calls are initially only supported in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
It’s a big step forward for Skype; the company has a partnership with the 3 network and offers Skype enabled phones (and even a Skype phone) in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Macau, Sweden and the United Kingdom, but Skype on handsets outside of these markets has been the domain of third party go-between services until now. For eBay, getting Skype on more phones means increased use of the service, and hopefully enough profit to keep it from selling Skype at the end of the year.
Skype notes that this release is “expected to last several months, after which a public version of the application will be made available to millions of mobile phone owners around the world,” by which we’d hope is a fully fledged Skype client for everyone.