Nokia withdraw Skype support for the Lumia 610?

Skype working on Tango has come and gone with Microsoft and Skype announcing that the rushed-to-the-market Windows Phone app will not run on devices with less than 512MB of RAM. We then saw Nokia announce to the world that the Skype app will run on Tango Windows Phones (specifically the Lumia 610) with minimal amounts of memory. This was reaffirmed by Justin Angel using the app on his 610 to feature on a recent Windows Phone Central podcast.

Now Nokia HK has turned around and stated that they have decided to recommend to Lumia 610 customers that the Skype app really shouldn't be used and will not be available to those wielding the device. See the below quote from an email reportedly sent by the manufacturer:

"Nokia values the user experience provided by its products and services. Therefore, although the Skype Windows Phone version is workable on Nokia Lumia 610, after in-depth testing, we found that the user experience is not up to par with Nokia and Skype's expectation and decided not recommending users using Skype on Nokia Lumia 610. In the future, users of Nokia Lumia 610 would no longer be able to download Skype Windows Phone version from Window Phone Marketplace. However, Skype Windows Phone version would still be available for other users."

Looks like devices that are hitting the bare minimum requirements for Windows Phone Tango will not be able to run Skype. At least for now anyway. We're still looking at the Skype app as a pressed result from pressure mounting up on the teams to get something out on the Marketplace. We do expect the teams to sort out the issues and get the app working on low-end hardware as well as the flagship Windows Phones in the future. Our Rafael looked at why there are limitations with Skype on Windows Phone altogether, which is also worth a read.

Source: (Bing translation)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • But didn't you interview Justin Angel on his 610 with Skype? Unless you & Jay did a ton of post production he sounded great. Wonder what Nokia is finding to make them pull it.
  • Hrm.
  • Hahaha, post production, like I'd know how to do that...
  • Even though is a bummer it makes sense. Nokia doesn't want a lot of people complaining ala low-end android user way. If the app doesn't work in a smooth way it should not be available for those devices. Great news and bad news at the same time. A quick question does the Lumia 610 has front facing camera?
  • Anybody know if Tango works? If it does, it will be a major blow against skype.
  • Both work, but they don't run as smooth as if they were used on a Lumia 900 or any other 512MB device. That's why Nokia is not allowing users to download it.
  • The voice quality on the Skype app is really superb...when it works. I've been trying to use Skype on my 710 for a couple weeks now and id say I've had a dial success rate of 33%. A lot of times it won't ring at all then just hang up on me. That and the volume level is very low and I cannot figure out a way to increase it...though I admit that could be user error. Point is, it isn't that it CAN'T run so much as the experience would be markedly poor. My guess is we'll see it on 256 Tango devices as soon as it is updated to being a full featured experience on higher end devices.
  • The 710 seems to have the same issues the 900 had volume being one that's why I use the unlocked titan on tmobile....the 710 kept Losing data connection as well.
  • Doesn't the Nokia 610 doesn't even has a front facing camera anyway? So what would be the use of Skype then anyway? Just on phones with front camera it actually makes sense anyway.
  • Yeah because free voice calls are useless right? What a silly thing to say!
  • I apologise to Justin now but this, in my personal opinion of course (I.e. Does not reflect the views of wpcentral as a site or any other organisation), is fragmentation now. And it's a sad day
  • We're doomed...guess we should go to iphone /s
  • Ha, it's hardly like that! It's more a case of, there are limitations to this device so you're not getting the full Windows phone experience on it. Which admittedly is how this device should always have been perceived
  • Agree, I was just thinking, what a bad idea to drop the amount of mem.  I know this point has been beaten to a pulp, but seriously, how much do they save by using 256 instead of 512?  They should kill the 610 or start make it with 512.  Comes back to bite them on the arse. Hind sight is 20/20 I guess. 
  • My thoughts exactly. I mean these processors and chips have been out for so long now. The amount they save between a 600mhz processor and 1ghz can't be that substantial that they decide to offer a low low end phone.
  • The whole purchase of Skype by MS just seems like an embarrassment now. Of course they probably got it as a money making venue and not so much to implement into their own devices. I wonder how that's working out for them.
  • Skype and Microsoft will all come together with WP8 and Windows 8. Why invest in a client for WP7 when it will be so short lived? There are some real good stories on it out there.
  • Up to now, I've denied that it even exists on Windows phones but:
    "Hello fragmentation! Come in, have a seat, take a cookie!" Microsoft should never ever have lowered the spec requirements in first place. How is a non-tech person supposed to know that he shouldn't buy a Nokia Lumia 610 if he wants to run Skype?
  • The Lumia 610 is a good idea, but it hasn't been executed or introduced to the market in the most optimal or efficient manner. For starters, the 610 should be priced at $150 to $175, and secondly, 75% of its availability should be in low-income markets against the plethora of similarly spec Androids. These are markets where you can have entire towns and neighborhoods where you will not find a single higher spec device, and where much of the local development is geared for lower-spec devices. The people using their phones in these areas don't care about using Skype or playing premium games on their handsets, they just want to see basic mobile banking and local news apps in their mother languages. The 610 should not be making its way into the Western markets in this manner, at most, it should be in U.S/U.K among smaller/lower-end carriers as a cheap PAYG option. In terms of entry level devices for U.S, U.K, Europe, Canada, Australia, etc, you're best option is to continue developing the Lumia 710. Restrain its price tag within the $250 to $300 area, ensure its internal specs are the same as premium devices. For example, processor, memory, screen resolutions (incl. HD for Apollo devices), presence of rear and front-facing cameras, LTE etc. Skip out on AMOLED, Carl Zeiss, polycarbonate, etc. these are all premium additions people can get on higher-end devices. Nonetheless, with an evolved 710 at a good price-point, you have a shot at undercutting the older-gen iPhones, similarly spec/priced Androids, older BlackBerrys, etc. Even if you have to reduce your profit margins a bit, it shouldn't be a big deal as the bang-per-dollar/pound will be recognized by the consumer, and you have a good shot at making up for it with numbers sold. But if you really want to expand numbers, then take a few core features from WP7 and make a successor of the Asha. Just equip that device with the bare minimum and pitch it as a ultra low-end phone for students, business people, etc. in the developing world. Price it at $100-125 and make it exclusive to entry-level markets, and gear local developers towards supporting them.  
  • This is why I have WP android and iPhone now because WP issues seem to be pilling up not going away like they should.
  • How does this effect you?  This is a budget phone with no front facing camera.
  • Does that mean tango won't work either?
  • Tango works fine needs less resources and is different fragmented then Skype. But Skype works fine on my Ssmsung Focus S.
  • Makes me wonder if MS's decision to lower requirements was smart... this is the fragmentation that Android I think suffers. You're going to have customers who don't know what their hardware is capable of, and assumes that all Windows Phones, like iPhone can run pretty much the same thing, introducing confusion. I can understand if this was an older handset or something, but these Tango handsets are going to be new, and people think newer devices are better than older ones. I think it's just a bad decision for MS to get this route so late in the game. Instead of focusing on lowering their hardware requirements, and competing with less than stellar Android phones saturating the market, they should have held to their own and focused on what works, and move forward with WP8, while releasing Tango as an incremental refresh for 7.5 users waiting for 8. Nevertheless, it's only a few handsets.