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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jorge, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 12:44am

    Advertising phones

    Will this irritating person peddling his mobile phones please stop doing this? You are wasting time and space...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    LaidLaw, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 3:28am

    No Subject Given

    This is exactly what I needed, another phone that doesn't work!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Block Sheep, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 4:03am

    ... and why does an iPod need a color screen? ...

    If there was ever a feature that should be added to a cellular phone, it's wifi.

    They add every other useless feature to phones and iPods, but not this ... shame shame.

    But, yeah, a stand-alone wifi phone is dumb.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Hedwig, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 4:51am

    I don't know...

    Anyone ever considered using these things in an office situation? The wifi can be company-wide, and you can phone from everywhere in the building. Especially in larger production area's this can be a "not-so-dumb" solution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Aaron, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 5:39am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 5:49am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    mlvassallo, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 7:31am

    Re: This is for your home or office!

    I live in an area where I don't even get moble phone service, which is strange seeing as it is a huge Golf Course development with about 600 houses. I think this would be a neat alternitave for a cell if the price is right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mike, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 7:47am

    Other Biggest Complaint

    > The biggest complaint about mobile phone service< BR>> 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    TK, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 2:09pm

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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