YouTube Becomes Free For Helio Users

    July 3, 2007

This won’t change the world, but it’s a nice gesture: Helio (“don’t call us a phone company”) has stopped charging its users for access to YouTube.  The “mobile brand” is even refunding customers who already sent over some cash.

“Helio, a small mobile carrier that sells to younger users with features designed for MySpace and YouTube, was charging a $5.99 monthly fee for a YouTube application,” writes Nathan Weinberg, recapping the situation.

“Helio’s application, while powerful and allowing you to upload and watch YouTube videos, still came off as overpriced when YouTube started working with Apple TV and the iPhone, and released its own mobile site, and worse so when Helio actually tried to block access to YouTube’s mobile site so they could keep charging their customers,” he continues.

There’s also the upcoming YouTube phone to consider.

But, whether it saw the error of its ways or just made a smart business decision, Helio corrected its course.  Gizmodo even carries a picture of a note from “Customer Care,” and the many comments that follow prove Helio is back in users’ good graces.

In related news, Helio is apparently still in its investors’ good graces, as well.  Reuters reports that the company will receive $100 million apiece from SK Telecom and EarthLink, and “SK expects Helio to become profitable in 2009.”