Skype betting on Verizon deal in U.S.

Skype won't promote its newly won position in Nokia's Ovi Store in the United States. Instead, the firm will focus its U.S. marketing efforts on its recently inked deal with Verizon Wireless.

Last week, Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype and John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon WirelessNokia and Skype announced with great fanfare that Skype's mobile application will be available for Symbian smartphones via a download from Nokia's Ovi Store, but many noticed that the application was not available for download on U.S. handsets. The Internet calling firm said it decided to refrain from a listing in the U.S. store in order to promote its relationship with Verizon.

"Skype has made a decision in the United States to not promote the Skype for Symbian app through the Ovi Store," Skype spokeswoman Sravanthi Agrawal told VentureBeat. "We did this so that we could drive more attention to the recently announced Skype and Verizon Wireless agreement. This was a marketing decision--plain and simple. Skype users in the U.S can still download Symbian by going directly to"

Agrawal did not respond to a message seeking more information about her remarks.

Verizon and Skype unveiled their partnership at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, last month, and Verizon plans on launching a custom Skype application for smartphones later this month. At the time the deal was announced, neither John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon, nor Skype CEO Josh Silverman would say whether the deal was exclusive. However, Stratton said that users "won't see an application like this anywhere else in the U.S."

Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, while Nokia--the world's largest handset maker--has struggled to increase its share in the U.S. handset market.

For more:
- see this VentureBeat article
- see this Boy Genius Report post 

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