UPDATED 09:25 EDT / MARCH 03 2010

Google Should Buy Skype – Skype Launches App for Nokia Smartphones and Ovi Store

Hey Google, it’s 2010 and this is your wake up call. Buy Skype.

If I were at Google corp dev I’d be running those numbers now. Get cracking Google. More on that below back to the news at hand.

Today, Skype is announcing that they are making Skype available to more smartphone users – hello Nokia and Symbian.

In the announcement more than 200 million smartphone users worldwide now have Skype at their fingertips. Skype and Nokia jointly released Skype for Symbian, a Skype client for Nokia smartphones based on the Symbian platform, the world’s most popular smartphone platform. Skype for Symbian enables Skype to be used over either a WiFi or mobile data connection (GPRS, EDGE, 3G)

This is a much need shot in the arm for Nokia which in a matter of only a few years is on the ropes due to the skyrocketing success of Apple and Google racing up from behind.

Skype as Voice and Data Utility
Whats notable is the trend that Skype is really doing custom work with their partners. This means tighter integration into the networks whether it’s Verizon Wireless or a distribution deal with handsets. Good move for Skype to leverage their technology and market position (as they race to 1 billion users – mind blowing).  Skype is the perfect example of an enabling technology both as a platform and a utility.

I had a chance to meet most of the Skype team at Mobile World Congress and they are very focused on bringing the technology to the network side and applications side. Not only is their prospects massive on the voice side but the data side is growing like crazy.

Skype is really positioned for big growth. I was saying to Josh Silverman at #mwc10 that I think Skype is undervalued. He didn’t disagree.

There was some rumblings among folks in Silicon Valley questioning Marc’s new early stage fund plopping down $50m on Skype not your typical early stage deal.   Those investors who took them private Silver Lake Partners and Andreessen Horowitzs should be in the police blotter for stealing that deal.  Anyone who was debating the logic of Andreessen Horowitzs will soon be silenced.  It was a great deal.  As your can tell I’m obviously biased on Skype.  I see their future and it’s huge that is unless they become part of Google.

Hey Google – Gizmo5 What?
It’s hard to imagine that Skype has a lower valuation than Twitter. Skype is making money and I’m expecting massive growth from Skype. All the company has to do is “hold on for the ride”. The thermals of the market combined with their product creates the perfect growth formula.

If Google doesn’t pick up Skype now they are missing the big upside. Skype would be a great addition to the Google mobile land grab currently going on. Gizmo5 will fail as Skype approaches 1 billion connected users.

Why Google Can’t Do It Alone?
With the recent EU antitrust headaches and the looming congressional and FTC issues in DC, can Google afford the regulatory headaches of trying to build itself into a phone company? Hmmm food for thought. I don’t think so.

For Google why not consume the world’s largest long distance provider now – a brand that has intense customer loyatly, massive brand recognition and a global video solution that gets better and better each release cycle?

Google can instantly put themselves in the center of the market with Skype a postion that feeds all their core developments – developers, android, voice, data, search, enterprise, and advertising.

This market is crazy. Crazy good.

Here is the announcement from the Skype blog on today’s Nokia announcement:

Over 200 million more of you around the world can now download a great, full-featured Skype app to your mobile phones.

It’s ready to download now from our website or from the Ovi store, and it does everything you’d expect a great Skype app to do. Mark explains all in the video above, but in short, you can:

* make free Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world
* save money on calls and texts with our low rates
* send and receive instant messages to and from individuals or groups
* share pictures, videos and other files
* receive calls to your online number
* see when Skype contacts are online and available to call or IM
* easily import names and numbers from the phone’s address book

You can call, text, IM and everything else whether you’re on a 3G or WiFi connection, so when you’re abroad, just pop in a local SIM card with an unlimited data plan – or find a WiFi zone – and you’ll be able to avoid those pesky roaming charges.

Skype for Symbian will run on any Nokia smartphone using Symbian^1, the latest version of the Symbian platform. Soon, we’ll update the app so that it works on Symbian mobiles from other manufacturers, including Sony Ericsson.

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