Do People Want More Gadgets That Only Work In A Few Places?

from the just-wondering... dept

A month ago, Skype teamed up with Linksys to offer a special Skype cordless phone that seemed likely only to add to the clutter on your desk. Now, Accton Technology is introducing a Skype mobile phone that connects directly to a WiFi router. Unlike the Linksys device, it doesn’t need to connect through your computer (meaning your computer doesn’t need to be on). Sure, this may be cool in some circumstances, but mostly, it just seems like yet another device to carry around — and one that won’t work in most places. The biggest complaint about mobile phone service in the US is that coverage is poor, and now they want people to buy phones that have almost no coverage at all? It’s not at all clear how these devices will get on WiFi networks. Must they be open? If not, how much of a pain will it be to negotiate the security via the phone? Other than that, most people who buy one would also need to carry around a regular mobile phone, because this device appears to only work with Skype. For a few people, this could certainly be useful, but it doesn’t seem like a very large market.

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Comments on “Do People Want More Gadgets That Only Work In A Few Places?”

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Aaron says:

Re: I don't know...

But what’s the point? I am sure there would be some kind of security issue unless you want your wireless traffic to be free and clear for anyone to tap into. And the inner-office doesn’t hold water, beacuse you can inner office call anyone on your same phone network. So I really don’t see the market for a phone with such a limited usability.

DV Henkel-Wallace says:

This is for your home or office!

Don’t carry it around in your pocket like your mobe, leave it around your house. Those of us who have a home phone AND a mobile can replace the home line with it (if you trust skypeout)

Reasons for a home line: #1 if mobile service sucks #2 international calls are cheaper and #3 sometimes someone wants to call to speak to anyone in the house, not a specific person (e.g. delivery guy, refrigerator service lady, etc).

I agree it’s not a useful replacement for a mobe.

Mike says:

Other Biggest Complaint

> The biggest complaint about mobile phone service
> in the US is that coverage is poor, and now they
> want people to buy phones that have almost no
> coverage at all?
The next biggest complaint is that mobile carriers use contracts and anti-competitive practices to lock customers into shoddy, expensive service plans with little innovation.
Integrate this kind of technology into the Palm T|X, the Nokia 770, or one of the upcoming wifi enabled phones and maybe that’s a technology that can provide some small competitive pressure on mobile carriers. Not that it’s ever going to be a viable replacement for mainstream users. But a few urban early-adopters may just decide to scale back their plans to trade some of the crappy/expensive mobile data service for crappy/cheap wifi voice service.
Certainly the standalone phone is a dead end, but I’m not convinced that with the right device partnership, Skype can’t carve out a value-oriented niche for themselves.

TK says:

Re: Other Biggest Complaint

But if you think about it a LOT of seemingly stupid ideas have spawned some great innovations. I mean who would have though even 15 years ago that ANYONE would ever WANT to carry around a phone. After all, wasn’t the beauty of leaving home (in part) getting away from the phone? Now rare is the Average Joe who does not have a cell phone on his person.

This might seem silly at first glance, but if it weren’t for the silly ideas out there, we would have a lot less “toys” to waste…I mean save us time!

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