*new* skype mobile phone

According to a CNN report, mobile phone operator 3 and internet company Skype unveiled on Monday a handset that allows customers to make free internet calls outside of the home. This phone will allow Skype’s 246 million registered users to call and instant message each other for free.

The phone will be available on Friday in the U.K., starting from £49.99 on a pay-as-you-go tariff and will also launch in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Macau and Sweden before Christmas. 3 Skypephone is dual band and therefore will not work in the U.S.A.

The phone, developed by Qualcomm Inc (QCOM) and Chinese handset maker Amoi Electronics Co. Ltd, has a Skype button that immediately connects Skype users to their contact list and who on the list is available to take a call. Check out this video to see the Skype mobile phone in action.

The phone has 3G multimedia capabilities, an MP3 music player, and 2 megapixel camera. Unfortunately, Skype will not offer its SkypeOut feature, which allows customers to make cheaper-than-average calls to non-Skype phone users. Instead customers will use 3’s mobile phone network to do this. Customers trying to use the Skype service in countries where 3 doesn’t have a presence will have to pay normal international data tariffs, making it cheaper to use normal voice telephony instead of Skype.

3 is owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, and Skype is owned by eBay Inc (EBAY).

For more details about the new skype mobile phone visit: http://about.skype.com/2007/10/3_skypephone_delivers_free_sky.html#more

To read about its flaws visit: http://skypejournal.com/blog/2007/10/the_3_skypephone_is_a_test.html

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