Skype announced yesterday that Skype for iPhone will be available on the Apple App Store beginning today. The app also adds Skype calling and instant messaging to any second generation iPod touch with a compatible headset and microphone.

“Skype software for the iPhone has been the number one request among our users. We are delighted to deliver on this request and put Skype into the pockets of millions of people around the world who are carrying iPhone and iPod touch devices,” said Scott Durchslag, Skype’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Skype for iPhone will open up new ways for more than 400 million Skype users to stay connected and take their Skype conversations with them. Skype for iPhone is an experience that offers the same simplicity, ease-of-use and quality our users have come to expect from Skype, combined with an elegance of design and richness so loved by Apple’s many customers worldwide.”

Skype for iPhone features

  • Free Skype-to-Skype calls from any Wi-Fi zone to other Skype users worldwide
  • Call landline or mobile phones at Skype’s great low rates from any Wi-Fi zone
  • Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups via 3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS or EDGE (whichever is available)
  • Receive calls to a personal online number on Skype
  • See when Skype contacts are online/available to IM or talk

Skype for iPhone requires a Wi-Fi connection to make free Skype-to-Skype calls or low-cost Skype calls to mobiles and landlines.

The app uses Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS or EDGE (whichever is available) to sign into Skype, update a contact list, maintain and update presence and send/receive instant messages. Skype recommends an unlimited data usage plan for using Skype over a mobile data connection to avoid being charged by a wireless service provider for 3G, GPRS and EDGE mobile data usage.

Profile pictures of other users in a Skype Contacts list are also visible, making it easy to identify them. In addition, users can update their own Skype profile picture from within the Skype for iPhone app, either by choosing an existing image from a photo album on the device, or by using the camera on the iPhone to take a new photo.

And how much is the Skype app?

The Skype application for the iPhone or iPod touch will be available for free from Apple’s App Store on both devices, or at the iTunes store online.

And call charges?

Users will not be charged by Skype for making and receiving Skype-to-Skype calls using an iPhone or iPod touch. Skype’s normal low rates apply if using Skype to call landlines or mobiles.