The future of voice is “apps”

With us moving away from single-purpose, 12-key-pad, mobile phones to more touch-centric Internet devices, the “voice” has been reduced to being an app. Sure, today, phone companies run that app and use traditional phone technology, but in the future, all voice communication could be from apps using Internet technologies.

On Wednesday, Juniper Research of the U.K. released a report that shows that by 2016 nearly four-fifths of 640 million mobile VoIP users will be making calls through apps downloaded on their smartphones, while rest of the calls could be over phone company networks. Even today companies such as Nimbuzz and Skype (s msft) are enjoying tremendous success on smartphones, a trend I have written about many times.

Juniper forecasts that the number of mobile video callers will jump to 130 million by 2016, thanks to the introduction of mobile video calling services from most major companies and improvements in video calling technology.

Well, I guess Microsoft buying Skype makes perfect sense. Now if they could improve the user experience!