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CES 2006, Netgear Skype Phone

By David Ponce

This is an interesting tidbit floating out of CES this year. Netgear has announced a Skype mobile phone, which would allow you to place free calls (or cheap ones with SkypeOut) whenever a Wifi hotspot in range. Simply insert your Skype username and password as soon as you turn the phone on, and you’re good to go.

It also would work as a regular mobile phone whenever there are no hotspots available.

Go Skype (and Netgear).

There’s no word on price or availability, though you can sign up to be alerted to when it is.

[Netgear Skype Phone] VIA [Gizmologia]

Update: Hrmph… So it looks like I might have jumped the gun on this one. After actually reading the material, it looks as though this phone will not work as a regular cellphone. It only works when there’s a hotspot in range. As Julian in the comments point out, that would actually have been pretty awesome. As it is, it’s only kind of cool







.
  • Julian

    I don’t think that it functions as a normal mobile phone despite your suggestions to the contrary. Netgear’s website makes no mention of this functionality or of CDMA or GSM. If it did it would be a true killer and herald the new era of mobile communications. Maybe in a future release?

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  • http://www.jasonjang.com/techblog Eric Bernhard

    I think this product blows hard!

    Wifi is complicated and its not always easy to connect to a wifi spot. As well, Skype isn’t free unless your at a computer. I’m not convinced about this whole Skype revolution until it can be as easy as it is right now for me to call someone.

    And thats my 2 cents

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  • Julian

    I think Eric is missing the point slightly. This phone could make using Skype as easy as it is right now to call someone (the caveat is there because I have not seen a proper review of the phone’s interface or menu). Think of this as the ‘granmother test’. Would your grandmother use Skype the way it is used today? No, because as it is today you need to sit in front of a pc and few old people are willing do that for a phone call, or set up the pc just to call someone (unless she is a rare old techie bird). Would she use this phone? Yes, probably. I think the real future of a phone like this is to have one that is all of the following GSM/CDMA (mobile phone network) plus wifi (Skype and SIP). GSM when you are in a zone without WIFI or don’t have the access priviledges to the WIFI network, WIFI all the other times and both SIP and SKYPE clients on it so that you can use the two most popular VOIP systems today. That would be an absolute killer!!!!! David, what thinkst thou?

  • Martin

    this phone looks alot like the sonyericsson t630i if you ask me..

  • Julian

    http://www.vnunet.com/itweek/news/2148121/users-netgear-skype-wi-phone
    more information on the phone in question. And yes it resembles a lot of SE’s recent t6XX k7XX series of phones. Not by accident I wager, BUT it still doesn’t do traditional mobile calls.

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  • Julian

    I am not that impressed with the VoSky since the only advantage it provides is the same as that provided by calling cards such as AT&T or as I live in France “Les Minutes”. You still end up calling a number, in this case your home phone, which if you are abroad can be expensive. Additionally you have the upfront cost of buying the unit as opposed to a pay as you go charge. Admittedly Skype provides good value for money but not astoundingly so when it I compare it to my calling card provider. However you want to see a startling calling plan cheque out http://adsl.free.fr/tel/tarifs/ (for those non francophones use google’s translation service at http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://adsl.free.fr/tel/tarifs/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://adsl.free.fr/tel/tarifs/%26hl%3Den%26hs%3DElU%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official ). Free is an broadboad operator in France. Basically they offre all calls to fixed lines in most european countries and to US and Canadian fixed and mobile lines FREE OF CHARGE and they provide the home unit that has a standard telephone socket you can you use your normal phone. This has the traditional operators running scared. Free also bought the only national WIMAX operator in France a little while ago… hmm I see the beginnings of another French Revolution.

  • donald

    Dear Sirs and madam,

    Here is Donald from Golden union Enterprises Limited (Hong Kong). We are professional electronic product manufactory, our product including USB-stick, USB phone(skype phone), MP3 player, etc. I have obtained your name and address from Internet. I am writing to enquire whether you would be willing to establish business relations with us.

    We work in storage industry including, USB-stick, skype phone, storage memory; seeing and hearing industry including: MP3 player; and computer accessory like, mouth. We have pass ISO9001 quality control system. We also have got fully license to go into American and Europe market. Our aim is become the leading manufactory in China and world. We are interested in extending our market to your country.

    I look forward to your reply. Hope we can enter into relations with your company from now on.

    Regards,
    Donald

    Contract person: Donald Ouyang
    HK Office Address: Unit D, 10/F, China Oversea Bldg, 139 Hennessy Road Wanchai Hong Kong
    SZ Factory Address: 2/F NO.5 Baishun Industrial Park, Xili Town Nanshan District Shenzhen China
    TELL: +86-755-26973496-832
    FAX: +86-755-26973495-802
    Mobile; +86-13430402283
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    MSN: [email protected]
    SKYPE: donaldouyang

    This email (including any attachments) is confidential, privileged and may be used only by the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the addressee (or a servant or agent obliged to deliver it to the addressee) then you may not read, disseminate, print, copy, store or otherwise use it. If you have received it in error, please notify Golden union enterprises limited by replying to the address from which it was sent and delete it you?re your system. This email and its attachments may have been altered without the author’s knowledge or consent. Any views expressed are personal to the author, except where specifically stated to be the views of Golden union enterprises limited. Golden union enterprises limited accepts no liability of any kind either for any errors arising as a result of electronic transmission or for any loss or damage which may be sustained by any person as a result of this email and/or its attachments being communicated to any person other than the intended recipient.