By David Ponce
Well, hell, maybe not; once you’ve got Skype’s momentum, it’s hard to come into the scene and kick some ass. Still, MagicJack is a promising new VoIP service that rests its strategy on a USB dongle with a regular, analog phone jack on one end, and… well, a USB connector on the other. It’s supposed to be simple: plug the dongle in the computer and your regular phone in the jack. Wait 60 seconds (or minutes in a spyware infested PC) for the software to auto-install, and you’re ready to make phone calls with your house phone. If it works properly, it’s something we can see the elderly and the otherwise PC-challenged crowd getting into.
Pricing is rumored to be between $29 and $39, which includes the dongle and one year subscription to the service, with the plan costing $19 a year afterwards. This would give you unlimited calling in Canada and the US, though extra charges apply for other destinations.
Of course, $30 doesn’t beat free any day of the year, and with the immense installed base Skype already has, it’s going to be tough “killing” it. But we sure do wish them the best of luck.
Official launch is set for April ’07.