Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/07/fring_truphone/
New Year rings in better VoIP for all
More VoIP options come to Windows Mobile and iPhone
It seems that January is when VoIP clients get spruced up with new features and capabilities, with both Truphone and Fring launching new versions ready for punters wanting to do more than save a few quid on phone calls.
Truphone's latest client for the iPhone and iPod Touch includes Skype integration - both VoIP and messaging, as well as a Twitter client to go with the Yahoo and MSN Messenger capabilities. But Windows Mobile users don't have to feel left out as Fring adds file-sharing and Facebook integration to their client on that platform, though still only supports the basic messaging and VoIP capabilities on the iPhone.
At least Truphone has the potential to raise revenue - talking to Skype users over wi-fi is free, but Skype calls made outside Wi-Fi range are routed to a local number and charged appropriately, so Truphone can make some money from the innovation. Fring still lacks any kind of sensible business model, despite the innovative nature of their products.
We've said before that the attraction of VoIP needs to be more than cheap calling, and both Truphone and Fring are innovating to bring more social networking features to their clients. But while VoIP may be a declining revenue stream it's hard to see social networking replacing it as a proper source of income; social networking might be fun, but it still lacks anything approaching profitability.®