Fring calls Skype 'cowards,' Skype says Fring is damaging brand and reputation

Popular Social/Messaging/VoIP application Fring made serious waves last week when it launched a new version that supported two-way video calling over 3G for the iPhone 4. Apple's FaceTime iPhone 4 video chat, by comparison, only works while the device is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Very shortly after launching, however, support for the face-2-face video chat was halted. Fring said the feature's unavailability was the result of a blockage by Skype.

"Now that Fring expanded capacity to support the huge demand for video calling for all users, Skype has blocked us from doing so," the service's blog said this morning. "They are afraid of open mobile communication. Cowards."

To this, Skype's Robert Miller responded, "This is untrue. Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn't designed to be used -- and in a way which is in breach of Skype's API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We've been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably. However, over time, Fring's misuse of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers. On Friday, for example, Fring withdrew support for video calls over Skype on iOS 4 without warning, again damaging our brand and disappointing our customers, who have high expectations of the Skype experience."

There is no official Skype video client for any mobile platform except Maemo, but the company reportedly has plans to branch out onto other platforms. Earlier this year, Skype's public relations team made a statement that there will be "a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers."

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