Skype gone (really) mobile: 3 Skypephone puts free Skype calls and instant messages in your pocket
One shouldn’t really trust rumors. But we’ve heard plenty of them in recent weeks and in this case, they weren’t too far from the truth. In tandem with the mobile operator 3, Skype has just launched a new mobile phone called 3 Skypephone. One that lets you make free Skype-to-Skype calls and send free Skype instant messages from anywhere. Not just from the desktop, not just from the office. From anywhere.
And it works the other way, too. That is, if your friend in the US runs Skype on her desktop and calls you over Skype, your 3 Skypephone will ring. And the call won’t cost either of you a penny.
What we’re dealing with here is a mobile internet phone with Skype built in. That is, in addition to Skype calls the phone also handles conventional calls and can be used to access 3′s other internet services. We’re dealing with a new breed here, folks. Because this is the first time an operator has offered a mass-market mobile phone purpose-built for free internet calls. In a package that’s easy to use, is easy on the pocketbook and looks so good you may want to chain it to your wrist (lest gravity or someone’s sticky fingers get the better of it).
So, where can you get the thing and what’s the damage? 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 are free from your 3 Skypephone as long as you are on contract or your pay-as-you-go 3 credit is topped up monthly. In the UK the 3 Skypephone is £49.99 on a pay-as-you-go tariff or free on a contract.
The new phone is available from November 2 in 3Stores across the UK and from Skype and 3′s websites in time for Christmas. And it’s available for pre-order in the UK from today.
See the press release for more details.