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article imageRibbit Takes The World By Storm - Soon You'll Use Your Smartphone To Chat Online

By Angelique van Engelen     Dec 19, 2007 in Technology
A new startup phone company called Ribbit has taken the world by storm, announcing details of a platform fostering a beehive of telephony applications that will enable users of smart phones plenty of new services, many free of charge.
Isn't this is what we've all been waiting for; a way to use Skype, MSN, GoogleTalk and hundreds of other chat facilities on your mobile smart phone. Guess what, at long last the wait is over.
Ribbit, a Mountain View, California company, has started to collaborate with developers creating webpage embeddable apps. for its telephones.
"Ribbit's back-end technology includes a software switch [a SmartSwitch] that essentially connects Internet-based voice communication services with mobile phones, landline phones and text messages", PC World reports.
Ribbit offers consumers an AIR iPhone, a device that looks just like the Apple iPhone. It is a voice over IP telephone which runs via the internet. People can use it to connect through to mobile phones and landlines.
Aside from the inbuilt switch, Ribbit's inviting developers to build applications that enable users to use any conceivable web phone service on the phones. The company says 600 developers are building applications already.
"Developers can build applications that include functions such as recording, sending and receiving voicemail, and making and receiving calls. The applications can be built using Flash, embedded into any Web site, and integrated into existing Web-based services. The platform supports many existing Web-based calling services, such as Skype, GoogleTalk and MSN", says PC World.
Whether this is going to be a freebie for everybody is not sure however. Depending on the application that is made compatible with Ribbit's services, some people might be billed. The company might include its own AIR iPhone into the billing roster too. I bet you though that plenty of others will come free. This is one to watch!
Analysts at Forrester Research say that the company's chances to achieve the level of success they are aiming for might be a fantasy beyond what's feasible. "Thanks in part to its lengthy history, telephony is a complicated business, and substantial questions remain about how effectively Ribbit can bridge the dynamic world of Web development with telephony's often arcane and inconsistent technical standards", Lisa Pierce, vice president at Forrester Research told NewsFactor.com.
Ribbit is operating on $13 million in venture capital. It closed a deal with Salesforce.com which allows it to integrate its SmartSwitch into Salesforce.com's website and charge a flat fee of $25 per month.
More about Ribbit, Smart phone, Skype
 
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