Apple Should Acquire Skype, If They Are Truly Serious About Video Calling
Recently it was reported that Skype filed for an IPO. In the filing, one particular number that stood out to me and a few others I’m sure was that Skype “users made 95 billion minutes of voice and video calls” during the first half of 2010, with a full 40 percent of those minutes being video. Stop right there. So, 40 percent of the 95 billion minutes used by Skype users in the first half of 2010 were video calls? That’s 38 billion minutes of video calling. That is amazing and it is also just what Apple needs.
A Skype acquisition by Apple would be perfect. Not only does Apple acquire Skype, it would further enhance FaceTime. As I wrote about in my previous article on FaceTime for the iPod the potential for FaceTime (or an equivalent) on Mac OS X is huge. A Skype acquisition could be the way in. You could have unlimited Skype-to-Skype, FaceTime-to-FaceTime, and with an acquisition, FaceTime-to-Skype video calls on all devices. iPhone’s, iPod’s, and Mac OS X computers.
Video calling is something Apple is trying to push into the mainstream. The FaceTime commercials on TV are proof of that. Skype can help. It already has a well established user base who apparently love video calling. It is also worth mentioning that an acquisition of Skype would also add some nice intellectual property to Apple’s portfolio. The IP I’m referring to specifically is the peer-to-peer technology behind Skype.
In terms of price, last year, Skype investors set its value at $2.75 billion. Not exactly cheap. But definitely doable for Apple who has over $24 billion in cash. If Apple is serious about video calling this would be the perfect acquisition for them to make.
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