Nokia's Ovi store was launched in May 2009 and provides Nokia users with access to a variety of free and paid Apps. While it isn't as popular or as extensive as Apple's App store it has been a success and has recently hit 1.5 million downloads a day according to their in-house stats. The increasing sales of Symbian based smartphones has been credited with doubling the amount of monthly registrations during February.
The Ovi Store's latest release is a version of the Skype mobile application for Symbian devices. Whilst this application has been available previously it is expected that it's presence in the Ovi store will lead to an increase in downloads. Skype are hoping that by including their software in the store for free they will be able to increase their popularity amongst the 200 million smartphone users worldwide.
Using Skype's VOIP (Voice Over IP) software to circumnavigate calling cost is not a new idea. Three already offer a dedicated Skype Mobile called the Skypephone S2 and the mobile software is available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices. As consumers demand more from devices and tariffs the idea of paying a premium for calls seems less acceptable. With free minutes and VOIP calling it increasingly feels like we are paying for the device rather than our usage.
The fact that mobile phone providers are so happy for their subscribers to use the software shows that they are embracing the changing usage patterns of mobile devices. It seems likely that in the future we wont be carrying around a phone but a mobile computer with the ability to make phone calls. If you compare the early mobile phones with current smart phones you could even say that this has already happened.