Skype announced cordless phones that do not require a running computer, which are provided by well known hardware partners of Skype. This new class of phone enables Skype(TM) users to make and receive both Skype calls over the Internet and traditional landline calls, without a computer, and offers the added convenience of a cordless phone. The first series of products to be launched in this class are the Philips VOIP841 cordless phone and NETGEAR's cordless phone for Skype.
"We are broadening our reach to mass consumers by offering them the opportunity to communicate via Skype without having to be tied to the computer," said Stefan Oberg, general manager, desktop and hardware at Skype. "Skype has already introduced Wi-Fi phones and Skype for PocketPC wireless. Now Skype is taking the next step and working together with Philips and NETGEAR, to introduce PC-free cordless phones. The cordless phones for Skype launched today, give Skype users the flexibility to enjoy free Skype to Skype calls and inexpensive calls to ordinary and mobile phones anywhere in the house, at any time without a running computer."
Cordless phones offer increased mobility throughout the home or office, giving consumers the freedom and flexibility of not being tethered to their computer. Also, consumers with multiple cordless phone handsets in their home have the ability to hold separate conversations simultaneously - one on Skype, the second on the traditional line - each from a different handset. Both the Philips and NETGEAR cordless phones have Skype running on them out of the box, and they can act as a replacement for an ordinary cordless phone, because they can make and receive traditional telephone calls through the landline line connection. Skype itself is not a replacement of an ordinary phone and it can not be used for emergency calling. Existing Skype users can sign into their account, conveniently downloading all their contacts to the cordless phone. Users also have the ability to search for Skype contacts directly on the phone, and add them to an integrated contact list for both Skype contacts and traditional phone numbers.
"Philips drives innovation by developing easy-to-use products that help to integrate new technologies into the lifestyles of consumers, while continuing to further enhance their entertainment experience at home and on the go," said Lucas Covers, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Philips Consumer Electronics. "We pride ourselves on providing a range of DECT Internet phones and devices that enable crystal clear voice calls for every type of Skype user. The VOIP841 is the perfect phone that offers consumers features that will personalize their Internet communications without compromising the best-in-class innovative technologies from Philips and Skype."
"We are pleased to continue working with Skype to bring high-quality, innovative products to the millions of Skype enthusiasts," said Vivek Pathela, NETGEAR's vice president of product marketing. "In addition to our Skype WiFi phone (now available), the cordless phone for Skype will make it easy for people to connect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world."
The Philips and NETGEAR cordless phones will be Skype Certified(TM). The Skype certification is designed to reassure users that products will be easy to use, and will work well with Skype software. Skype Certified hardware products undergo rigorous testing for more than a month to ensure that they meet Skype's high usability and technical quality standards.
Premium Skype features, including SkypeOut(TM) for inexpensive international calls to traditional landlines and mobile phones, SkypeIn(TM) to receive calls from landline or mobile phones on Skype, and Skype Voicemail will all be easily accessible through the phone.
The cordless phones for Skype are accompanied by a remote DECT base station that plugs into both the broadband connection and the traditional phone line. The system handles both Skype and ordinary calls in one phone, presented through an easy-to-use, user interface. Both the Philips and NETGEAR cordless phones boast a full color graphic display, simplified calling features with an integrated contact list, and an enhanced speakerphone with great voice clarity.
The Skype Certified Philips VoIP841 cordless phone will be available for the 2006 holiday season.