Will the mobile world be rocked hard by Skype? This morning, eBay's
Skype-ready landline phones have been around in limited form for a couple of years now. Even RadioShack has been selling them since last year. However, this morning's deal represents the first time that a mobile provider is offering its customers Skype-enabled handsets.
It's not just about calling up your online Skype buddies via their PCs. If this is the catalyst that eventually triggers cheaper -- and broader -- international coverage by channeling international calls through Skype, eBay may be sitting on the future hub of global telecommunications.
We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. However, eBay's Skype has already been a major disruptor. Remember when Vonage
Will other mobile providers -- stateside ones, especially -- latch on to what 3 UK and Skype are doing? Perhaps. If the move proves popular, and it's what consumers demand, rivals will have to follow suit, even if it doesn't seem to be the best financial move at the moment. Do you think that automakers really wanted to add iPod jacks to their newer vehicles when there was money to be made selling satellite radio receivers instead? Of course not. However, once one edgy peer caves, those who want to survive will follow suit.
The new Skype mobile service may appear limited at first, but give it time. Every good disruption takes its time to leave a mark.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user, and he's got the 169 positive feedback points to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance.