Hudson Barton is one of those fanatic Skypers, quite active on the Skype Forums, he already published some posts on the (now agonising) SkypeJournal and appeared in my blog too. And he is a Macintosh user! Here he is again …
He made a very extensive analysis based only on publicly available data like the concurrent Skype users online, number of downloads of the Skype client, press releases or EBay’s quarterly results.
The most “innovating” aspect in his study is IMHO the way he tries to make an estimate of regional distribution of Skype users. Read his complete analysis here:
Skype Growth: Analysis and Forecast for 2007
His main conclusions are:
- At the end of 2006 Skype has 22 million "real" users worldwide, and that will increase to 34 million in 2007.
- 85% of Skype users are outside the USA.
- Skype is still growing exponentially and will continue to do this in 2007.
- Financial success - the kind that will satisfy investors critical of the amount EBay paid for Skype - is still quite far off.
- There is no substance to the claim that Skype is a great success in China or any other developing country.
- Enterprise usage is not as much of a factor in Skype's growth as some claim it to be.
- Skype enabled WIFI phones and broadband wireless networks are going to have a significant impact in 2007.
- Skype is hurting its competitors terribly, mainly on price but increasingly with hardware and services. This includes not only PSTN and Cable competitors, but also telephonelike VoIP service providers, SIP providers and instant-messaging services.
- Skype is becoming a sort of social or collaborative network, supporting concepts of group-ware and Web 2.0.