Skype has dropped plans to charge for VoIP calls over 3G networks with the latest version of its mobile client for the iPhone.
Skype made the announcement on its blog Wednesday while unveiling an upgrade for its iPhone app that enables users to multitask while making Skype calls.
The long-awaited multitask feature will allow users of iPhones or iPods running iOS 4 to receive calls while the iPhone is locked, and use other apps during a call. The Skype client’s graphics also now support iPhone 4’s Retina Display.
However, despite the new value-added features and sound quality, which Skype “blogger in chief” Peter Parkes said would “lead to increased call frequency and longer calls”, Skype also the mobile VoIP service would remain free.
When Skype launched the first version of its 3G-enabled iPhone client in May, the VoiP software vendor also said it would start introducing price packages for 3G-based calls sometime next year.
But while announcing the new upgrades, Skype’s Parkes said that “the mobile world is in a period of significant change, for example, with some operators starting to move to tiered pricing models.”
Between that and the expected boost in Skype call frequency and duration, Parkes said, “we no longer have plans to charge a supplement to make calls over 3G.”