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Netgear Wi-Fi Skype phone to ship June?

US buyers get $250 pre-order offer

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Netgear's answer to Linksys' CIT200 Skype phone is due to go on sale in two months' time, according to the online supplier the company has chosen to handle pre-orders for the product. Amazon.com's website has the $250 handset down to ship on 30 June.

netgear sph101 skype wi-fi phone

There's no official word yet on UK and European availability, but our sources suggest an early June launch over here.

The SPH101 was announced in January this year and demo'd again at CeBIT in March. It's got 802.11g on board, and unlike the Linksys' offering sports a stylish, white mobile phone-like design.

The Linksys' handset uses DECT cordless phone technology to connect to a host PC. The Netgear's Wi-Fi support means it can operate without a computer, from the user's own WLAN or a public Wi-Fi hotspot, many of which are now allowing Skype-only access free of charge. This approach also means the SPH101 should offer more on-board Skype functionality than its rival does, such as the ability to add new contacts and check your SkypeOut credits.

That said, even at $250 - $50 less than the $300 standard price, according to Amazon.com - it's not an inexpensive device. UK pricing has yet to be announced. ®

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