Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

First Skype smartphone now available at PChome

OBVIOUS?Linktel has boasted its aim is to ‘put conventional landlines into the past tense,’ with the launch of its first-ever dedicated Skype smartphone

Staff writer, with CNA

The world’s first smartphone designed for Skype communication software is now available at PChome online markets, the phone’s developer said yesterday.

Linktel Inc, which provides the Skype service in Taiwan, aims to use the device to replace landlines around the globe, vowing to “put conventional landlines into the past tense.”

“While the rest of the world is trying to put everything into smartphones, we have simply focused on the ‘talk’ part, making this feature the best in its class,” Linktel chairman Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志) said at the launch ceremony.

“As long as there is an Internet connection, free telephone calls can be made any time and anywhere,” he added.

While Skype software is available on computers, tablets and smartphones, Linktel’s device is built around voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology.

The phone, which carries a price tag of NT$1,990 (US$66), sports a 4.3 inch display, a dual-core 1GHz processor and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. Designed in Taiwan and manufactured in China, it is now available in 105 countries.

Linktel declined requests to reveal the smartphone’s contract manufacturers and estimates of how many units will be shipped.

Linktel chief operations officer Sam Tsai (蔡文雄) said that his company aims to “make phone bills disappear.”

“With the Skype smartphone, users can make free calls and send files and text messages without the hassle of turning on a computer and plugging in a webcam and a handset,” Tsai said.

The device allows for teleconferences with an HDMI cord that connects to external screens, he said.

“We see potential in the [Skype smartphone] market,” Tsai said.

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