Stock Option Trading News

Skyping on iPhone

The Apple (AAPL) iPhone looks so peaceful who’d believe the boardroom wars this hand size device has sparked. Marketed as the Swiss Army knife of cell phones it already had more uses than any other cell when they threw open the gates and gave the application software code up to any comers. The resulting application free for all has made no few garage startup companies enough money to at the very least rent some office space while large companies have either gotten on board or been left in the dust. Now eBay (EBAY) is hoping their purchase of the Internet phone service Skype will finally pay off in its new life as an iPhone application.

eBay could truly use some good news from Skype. The sellers who’ve long thronged to the online bargain hunting auction site have been complaining at the increase of almost all their final value fees. Long time dealers complained they were already making just pennies on the dollar despite selling in volume on the site. Private sellers began protesting they were making no real profit at all.

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Perhaps this explains why eBay’s reported for the first time ever that their 4th quarter revenues fell from the previous quarter. After all there are now two other major shopping sites luring both sets of customers away. (AMZN) and the little-upstart-reselling-page-that-could known as Craigslist are greedily munching up the profits at the Internet shopping trough eBay created. is taking in all the dealers along with their established customer bases by offering them a better deal. Craigslist has become a haven for one-time sellers who want to sell their household odds and ends using a free classified format instead of posting auctions on eBay and sharing the profits.

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Skype needs to do eBay proud, but while first reports are overwhelming positive there are already a few major complaints. The complaints are related to how and when the Skype application runs on the iPhone. First and foremost a charge will be paid by the customer for making a call unless the person being called is another Skype user. Also, calls can only be made if wireless access is available as Skype isn’t a replacement for a cell phone carrier.

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This explains why AT&T (T) which is still the iPhone’s exclusive carrier hasn’t been up in arms about this addition. While users can make some calls using Wi-Fi and save a little money AT&T will remain the phone’s offline and no doubt most frequently used provider.

The other issue users may have is due to the iPhone’s OS. Only one application can be used at a time. While using the cell’s phone feature other applications can be opened such as maps or the browser, but not so with Skype which is itself an application. Some long time users might find this small point a big negative.

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While Skype’s started a good game, eBay needs the service to make a home run. Time will tell.

The real winner from Skyping on iPhone could be Apple, as more users flock to the iPhone. And investors who may be a little skittish about purchasing Apple’s stock might consider protecting a stock investing position in Apple with stock options, certainly beats cd investing. Stock options can provide a way to protect stock investing positions from a large loss. A put option can be considered the same as “stock insurance“, in the event a stock takes a large free-fall, the put option kicks in and limits the amount of loss. A put option is a great way to hedge investments.

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[tags] iPhone, Swiss Army knife, software, Internet, Skype, Craigslist, Wi-Fi, AAPL, Apple Computer Inc., AMZN, Inc., EBAY, eBay Inc., T, AT&T Corp. [/tags]

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