CES: Skype makes Qik move to consolidate mobile video position
Already, 40% of all Skype-to-Skype calls are video-based -- that percentage will only go up with video recording and sharing service Qik
Skype, now reportedly the world’s most prolific international calling service, announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show that it is acquiring Qik, a mobile video streaming application company. The move appears to be in line with Skype’s recent move into mobile video chat, as Qik allows that app plus real-time video recording, sharing and other functions.
The deal price is rumored to be about $100 million, though in announcing the deal at CES, Skype CEO Tony Bates, the former Cisco executive who took the reins of Skype barely two months ago, declined to discuss the financial terms. This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering Skype is awaiting its initial public stock offering. Bates did say that the move makes sense when you consider that 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype calls are video-based. The Qik deal is expected to close this month.
Ironically, both Skype and Qik suffered high-profile service disruptions during 2010, with Skype’s coming in late December and Qik’s occurring upon the launch of Sprint’s Evo 4G phone last spring, when downloads of the application far surpassed expectations.
Qik was founded in 2006 in Redwood City, Calif., and has 60 employees. Its Smart Streaming technology works on more than 200 mobile phones using Android, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile software.
Skype now accounts for 12 percent of all international calling minutes, according to Telegeography. Skype also announced at CES that Vizio and Sony will be joining Samsing and Panasonic in incorporating its calling technology into new TVs.
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