Friday, September 01, 2006
Skype Phone Frees UsersNew telephones from Philips and NetGear allow people to make Skype calls without a PC. The dual purpose phones will also plug into land lines so that you can use one handset for all of your calls.
Per Skype: "Existing Skype users can sign into their account, conveniently downloading all their contacts to the cordless phone. Users also have the ability to search for Skype contacts directly on the phone, and add them to an integrated contact list for both Skype contacts and traditional phone numbers."
This is a huge benefit for consumers and will surely increase Skype's market penetration. I'll predict that these phones will be one of THE BIGGEST sellers this holiday season.
However, unbundling the PC from Skype removes advertising opportunities and could reduce their revenue per customer. My assumption (and many others concur) was that advertising would help defray the cost of the much cheaper calls. Although the company has yet to integrate much advertising into its software, the potential is there to run small graphical ads during the initiation of the Skype call and online chats. Maybe the thinking is that the phones will encourage more people to sign up for Skype accounts.
When using the handset only, there goes the advertising opportunity since there is no screen. Moving to VOIP is a clear shift that greatly reduces the cost of calling, and the telecoms have to be scared. Finding some advertising mechanism is important to shore up the dwindling revenues as all calls head to the pennies per minute range.
By John Gartner at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)