As an existing customer of 3, Australia’s first 3G mobile phone network, and an avid user of Skype, I was interested to see this new product just about to be released here in Australia. It’s a 3G/Wifi enabled phone that lets you make free Skype-to-Skype calls over wireless LANs. Given that I spend all day at work, and all my time at home bathed in the radiant glow of wifi, the ability to make free calls is pretty attractive. I’m assuming that it reverts back to a standard GSM phone when you wander off the grid, and switches back to wifi when you get back into a wifi zone. I need to read the fine print of course, but it’s an intriguing idea.
While it’s not exactly an iPhone (far from it) it certainly looks interesting and suggests that the already competitive mobile phone business is about to get a whole lot more heated in the next 12 months. There’s been no word from Apple as to when the iPhone might land in Australia, so this push by Skype and 3 might be a positioning strategy to establish themselves as players in the developing VOIP mobile scene before Apple gets a chance to dominate it completely.
Either way, we live in interesting times!
Skype + Phone = Skypephone by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.