Philips is also launching a Skype phone at CES. I don't have a photo or more information (yet) - just the news release. But wanted to share this news ASAP and then update this post when I find out more. Sounds more similar to the Linksys CIT200 (requires USB connectivity to a PC) than the launch today of the NETGEAR standalone Skype phone I blogged today.Though, I'm not sure. I read somewhere that the Philips Skype phone is PC-less but cannot confirm. It does use DECT though, which is similar to the Linksys CIT200.
You can pick up a Philips VoIP321 Skype phone on Amazon.com for $139.00 or less.
Combining the optimum in mobility, voice quality and ease of use, Philips Electronics is teaming up with global Internet communications company Skype to introduce a new Internet phone, the VoIP321. The new cordless phone has dual functionality so consumers can make free Skype calls, as well as ordinary landline calls - giving them maximum freedom and the ability to toggle between both communications mediums.Through Skype and Philips' joint product, consumers can experience a new level of communication simplicity.
"The introduction of Skype compatibility to our devices is great news for consumers, enabling them to communicate in new ways with friends and family far away," said Nick Dosanjh, vice president and general manager, Philips Home Communication. "Philips is actively working with a number of companies to provide consumers with innovative entertainment and communication solutions.The VoIP321 is designed to allow the consumer to experience Skype's service with the convenience of a familiar cordless telephone and the simplicity and ease of use expected from Philips."
The VoIP321 was developed to combine the key benefits of Skype with the advantages of Philips' home cordless technology.Skype's rich features include: free worldwide calls, conferencing, video calls and chats with other Skype users.Users of the VoIP321 can make and receive both Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Internet calls from a single handset. Enabling users to carry their contact list anywhere in the home, the new VoIP321 allows consumers to view who is available on Skype by simply looking at the cordless phone display. The handset allows specific polyphonic ring tones to distinguish Skype and landline calls.
"The Philips brand is associated with quality and exceptional design, and we are pleased to offer consumers feature rich, user-friendly Skype enabled products for the home and office.Our collaboration with Philips demonstrates how Skype is revolutionizing communications," said James Bilefield, vice president of business development for Skype.
The innovative Internet phone operates on Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephone (DECT) technology. The new DECT technology enhances the sound and security available in a cordless phone. Consumers will experience crystal clear sound and reduced noise interference with the new DECT technology.
The VoIP321 is easy to use. Just a press on the Skype key allows you to access your Skype contacts list and see who from your friends and family are connected.Busy consumers also can multi-task and experience hands-free conversations via the speakerphone feature.
The VoIP321 represents an important development in Philips' 'Connected Planet' vision that enables users to enjoy wireless content and communication anytime, anywhere.By merging telecommunications and information with entertainment, the VoIP321 frees consumers to benefit from wireless and Internet technology wherever they are within the home.
Philips will launch the VoIP321 in Europe in May 2006 and in the U.S. in July 2006.
You can pick up one on Amazon on the cheap