Apple and AT&T might have the industry's most innovative internet-enabled phone, but their position on internet-based calling has been downright Luddite this year. The iPhone's keepers have tried to stiff-arm apps like Google Voice and Skype that would allow cheap online calling and they were all foot-draggy to accept music streamers like Rhapsody and Spotify this year.

But today AT&T announced it will finally allow users to download Skype and other programs that offer cheap, internet-based calling on its 3G network. This announcement comes about 24 hours after Verizon announced a significant partnership with Google to develop smartphones with Google Voice and internet-calling. Competition! Capitalism! It's all happening.


Wired reports:

The new policy is limited to VoIP [ed: That's "voice over Internet protocol," which just means you're talking to somebody over the interwebs]. Speaking to Ars Technica, AT&T said that it would still not be allowing video streaming or other high-bandwidth applications over 3G, including the currently gelded SlingPlayer. One day we may see it, but the Death Star moves slowly.

Whatever. In the future, we'll all be talking to each other on our iPod Touches, anyway.

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