Skype, the global Internet communications company and 3, the mobile operator, have launched a new affordable handset that lets you make free Skype to Skype calls and send free Skype instant messages from your mobile phone to other Skype users no matter where they are.
The 3 Skypephone is a fully-featured 3G Internet phone with Skype built-in. In addition to Skype calls the phone makes conventional calls and can be used to access 3's broad range of other internet services.
3 customers using the 3 Skypephone will be able to make Skype calls and send instant messages on the move with the push of a button. This is the first time an operator has offered a mass market device which is tailor-made for free calling over the internet from a mobile. Now, all of Skype's 246 million registered can be reached for free with the 3 Skypephone.
According to Michael van Swaaij, acting CEO at Skype, 'Skype is now truly mobile. This new handset is incredibly easy to use and lets you make free mobile Skype calls when you are on the move to other Skype users all over the world no matter where they are. It couldn't be simpler -- put Skype in your pocket and make free Skype mobile calls and send free Skype instant messages at the touch of a single Skype button.'
Michael van Swaaij added, 'Skype began by offering free PC to PC calling and now we're doing the same with mobile calls with 3. Thanks to 3, Skype has now taken a giant step forward in the mobile arena. It takes an innovative operator like 3 to challenge traditional thinking and offer the kind of product other operators are still shying away from.'
Kevin Russell, Chief Executive Officer, 3 UK, said, '3 wants to make the mobile internet available to everyone. To do this, we believe that services need to be simple to access and affordable. Communication is the prime function of the mobile today. Skype is the leader in internet communications. To enable Skype to go mobile in this way brings free internet calls together with an affordable 3G handset. Mobile has the potential to massively increase access to internet calling.'
The handset was developed by Skype and 3 in partnership with Qualcomm, using Qualcomm's BREW platform to enable Skype to work with core handset features such as address book and messaging.
The 3 Skypephone will be available this year in the UK, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Macau and Sweden. Skype to Skype calls will always be free from your 3 Skypephone as long as you are on contract or your PAYG 3 credit is topped up monthly. In the UK, the 3 Skypephone is Euro 49.99 on a PAYG tariff or free on a contract. **
The 3 Skypephone is available from 2 November in 3Stores across the UK and from Skype and 3's websites in time for Christmas. The 3 Skypephone is available for pre-order in the UK from today. Anyone who doesn't already use Skype can create a Skype account by going to www.skype.com and downloading the free software onto their computer. Alternatively they can create a Skype account directly from their 3 Skypephone.
** Fair use policy & terms apply. See the 3 website in each country for local prices and conditions
** Free calls are Skype to Skype calls and Skype instant messages from the 3 network (in some countries this is also available when roaming on a 3 sister network).
3 Skypephone functionality:
With 3G, a 2-megapixel camera, mp3 player, mobile TV and internet, 3 Skypephone keeps you occupied even when you run out of things to say. Plus, it's small and shiny, and comes in black or white, with blue or pink trim. 3 Skypephone also includes:
* Fully integrated Skype functionality with contacts, call logs and presence.
* Access to Java and 3D games and two preloaded games
* 2.0 Megapixel camera
* Internet browsing
* Weight: 86g
* Size: 100 x 44 x 13.6mm
* Battery Standby: 320 Hours
* Battery Talk Time: 270 Minutes
* Battery Video Talk Time: 170 Minutes
* Screen Size: 2.0" QCIF (176 x 220)
* Colour: 262K
* Internal Memory: 16MB
* External Memory: expandable to 1GB microSD
* Battery 1150mAh
* Battery cover (magnetic)
* Personal stereo hands free kit
* USB cable
* Mains charger
* CD ROM for PC connection
* 256MB micro SD memory card (no adapter)
* 3 user guide
* Quick start guide for Skype