Three. A mobile phone network operator. It makes its money when you make phone calls over its network.
So why, you have to ask, has Three launched a Skypephone? As its name suggests, this mobile lets you use the Skype network to make free calls and use IM.
The person you are calling doesn’t need a Skypephone, just a Skype account. So you can use the mobile to call someone who is running Skype on their PC. And they can call you from their PC. You don’t need Wi-Fi at your end – the phone uses the 3 network to route Skype calls. Skype contacts are integrated with other contacts, so there’s no fiddling around with a separate application when you think you want to make a call.
The phone doesn’t give you access to all Skype services, just the free voice calls and IM. No Skypein, no Skypeout, no free video calling. But who cares about that? As Skype’s own Web site puts it here “If your friends and family have a 3 Skypephone (in a country where it’s available), you can all speak mobile-to-mobile on Skype for free.” And by Christmas countries should include the UK, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Republic of Ireland, Macau, Hong Kong and Australia. Wow, free calls to Australia on a mobile phone!
Are you looking for catches?
Oh you cynics.
But then again, you are right. Here they come.
There needs to be at least £10 of credit in the phone if you buy it on Pay As You Go. It costs £49.99 on PAYG, (it is free on pay monthly contracts). So you are looking at a £60 initial outlay. Calls to landlines and mobiles are 12p a minute and texts are 12p a shot too.