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Netgear to ship Wi-Fi Skype phone next month

US pre-orders being fulfilled now, though

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Netgear has finally begun shipping its anticipated Wi-Fi enabled wireless Skype handset to North American buyers and will be reaching consumers in Europe and Asia next month, the company said today. The handset, the SPH101, was originally expected to ship in June this year.

Netgear began touting the SPH101 earlier this year, in January. Its exclusive pre-order partner, Amazon.com, said the handset would ship on 30 June. Source close to Netgear told Reg Hardware that's when they were expecting to see the device ship in Europe.

netgear sph101 skype wi-fi phone

Amazon.com currently has the SPH101's ship date down as 15 October, presumably when the VoIP accessory will appear in Europe and go on sale in the US. Interestingly, Amazon.com maintains the price is $300 discounted to $250, but Netgear today indicated the latter will be the standard retail price.

The SPH101 connects directly to the Skype network across almost any 802.11b or 802.11g WLAN. It provides the user all the voice-calling and contact management features Skype's own software does. Open networks are no problem, but Wi-Fi hotspots that insist users log on to the network via a web browser may not host Skype calls made using the Netgear gadget. ®

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