Earlier this week, NetGearÂ introduced the first-ever mobile Skype WiFi phone, the SPH101, which will work at any wireless hotspot. No longer will you need a computer to use Skype, and the process of using it has gotten a whole lot simpler.
“To date, a certain level of computer literacy has been necessary to get Skype up and running,” said Leif-Olof Wallin, an analyst at Gartner, a technology research firm.Â
With the introduction of the Skype phone, the level of technical expertise is reduced, thus opening up the market for a potentially larger audience of users.
To use the Skype phone, you will not have to manually log into your account. An on-screen color menu saves all of your contacts, and indicates who is or is not online.Â You simply select an available contact and makeÂ the call.
Skype-based phone calls are free between Skype users, and for an added you may also call a regular landline or mobile phone number.Â Also available for extra fees are voicemail, call forwarding, and custom ringtones.
The phone supports 802.11b/g WiFi hotspots, and has an MSRP of $249.99.Â It is not currently available in stores, but can be preordered through NetGear.Â The first shipment is expected to go out in June.