3, Skype launch mobile phone

Skype and 3 have unveiled a new and exclusive mobile phone that lets people make free Skype to Skype calls and send free instant messages to other Skype users across the world.
In Australian stores in time for Christmas, the 3 Skypephone is an affordable, easy to use, fully-featured 3G mobile with Skype built-in.  In addition to Skype calls the phone can be used to access 3’s other content services and makes normal calls too.

Making free Skype to Skype calls and sending instant messages is made really easy by pressing the phone’s large Skype button.  Now all of Skype’s 3 million registered users in Australia and 246 million worldwide can be reached for free.

The 3 Skypephone is $179 for prepaid customers or free on any cap or Talk Business plan, and comes with 4,000 minutes of free Skype to Skype calls and 10,000 free Skype chat messages each month.  Customers can also make use of free call time to other 3 customers as part of their cap, plan or prepaid top up.

“People like using Skype and enjoying free calls on their PC, so why not set Skype free on the mobile and in a way that’s really easy to use,” said Nigel Dews, CEO 3.  “This is simply giving people what they want, and challenging the traditional phone company view that dictates customers get charged for everything they do, with access to VOIP on the mobile being essentially off limits.  We believe that’s fundamentally flawed and wanted to make Skype on the mobile as easy and free as it should be.”

According to Chris Lewis, Head of Business Development & Marketing Asia Pacific at Skype, “With the 3 Skypephone, Skype is now truly mobile.  It’s extremely easy to use and with free calls, Skype is taking what we led with the PC, to the mobile.  3 have always been a great challenger of the norm and have taken it a step further with the 3 Skypephone.  It’s the kind of approach you’d only expect from 3.”

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The 3 Skypephone will be available in Australia before Christmas and is also launching in other 3 Group countries including the UK, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy and Sweden.  Only available on the 3 network, the 3 Skypephone will be able to be purchased from 3 Stores and Dealers, online at www.three.com.au and through 3 Direct, as well as eBay.

“The 3 Skypephone is perfect for people already using Skype but who want to be mobile or for people wanting to start taking advantage of free Skype calls,” said Noel Hamill, Director Sales, Marketing and Product, 3.  “It’s a fantastic looking phone, is great value and has all the functionality you need for talk, text and chat as well as accessing 3’s content.  It’s got mass appeal.”

The 3 Skypephone, which also has a 2 megapixel camera, will be available in white with a sky blue trim, white with a hot pink trim and black.  Customers who don’t have a Skype account can easily set one up directly on the 3 Skypephone.

The handset was developed by Skype and 3 in partnership with Qualcomm, using Qualcomm’s BREW platform to enable Skype to work with core handset features such as address book and messaging.

The 3 Skypephone marks the next step in the mobile revolution from 3 that brought Australia cap plans, great value mobile broadband and affordable internet on the mobile.
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