According to this report from Forbes, tablets such as the recently released Motorola Xoom were able to access and download Skype without issue and was available with voice calls being carried over the voice network while video calls were able to be carried over EVDO as of last week.
As of yesterday however, all of Verizon’s tablets are blocked from accessing Skype Mobile in the Android Market, with further confirmation that the Xoomâ€™s MDM chipset has its 1x voice channel enabled to theoretically allow for voice calls from the tablet. For its part, Skype has also blocked the Verizon Mobile version of the app from placing or receiving calls from Verizon tablets and has pulled the app for the time being.
A Verizon spokesperson then responded to the initial report earlier today, stating that tablets were never supposed to be able to access Skype Mobile since a version was never specifically developed for tablets and are now officially blocked from doing so, with smartphones and select feature phones being the only devices allowed to access the app. No further explanation was provided on why tablets are now being blocked from accessing Skype Mobile.
The response also did not elaborate on why the Xoom is being shipped with the 1x voice calling channel activated since tablets are usually shipped with data only hardware.Â This is not unprecedented for Verizon, as it has previously made arbitrary distinctions between hardware and software in order to exercise control over device sales and pricing, such as the Bluetooth profile incident with the Motorola V710.
Update: Skype’s PR Firm has responded to this report, stating that the Verizon Skype Mobile app can run on tablets but can only be used over Wi-Fi, while the generic Android Market app is also available on tablets for calls over Wi-Fi. A request for further clarification has been sent out.
Update 2: The PR firm has further clarified the status of the Verizon Skype Mobile app on the Verizon Xoom and Galaxy Tab, stating that it is not blocking the app and that customers should still be able to access and use the app over Wi-Fi as originally intended.