Nothing. Regardless of how the IPO goes, Skype is one giant black mark on Meg Whitman’s strategy scorecard. Little wonder why Meg set her sights on politics where ineffectual management and boondoggle projects are the rule — rather than a career-killing exception.
Buried in the Skype SEC filing everyone was reading yesterday is a very big number which is getting relatively little attention
So, what’s the point I’m making? Facetime.
Apple’s Facetime — to some, the killer feature contained in the iPhone 4 — has enormous potential and Apple knows it. Don’t believe me? Just watch any tear-jerking pitch for Cuppertino’s glass and aluminum masterpiece.
Facetime, although currently closed to all but Apple’s blessed product, is based on the same h.264 standard that Apple is behind as the future of web video. Skype — also currently a closed system — could easily be reworked to be compatible with Facetime while at the same time helping drive the ubiquitous adoption of h.264 encoded mpg4.
Are you starting to see some upside for Apple? The biggest videophone user base meets the hottest videophone devices. Add the resulting Skype to Facetime gateway as a value-added service of Mobile Me — Wanna connect to a Skype user? You must buy Mobile Me! — and you have the thing Skype has always been missing; a solid revenue stream that doesn’t depend on POTS termination.
Added to which, the Windows Skype installer represents several million more opportunities to fling copies of Safari to Windows users.
Potential FTC roadblocks aside, AAPL could swallow Skype whole without even pulling out the Amex Black card.