NETGEAR Ships SPH101 WiFi Phone for Skype in Volume

netgear sph101NETGEAR®, Inc., a worldwide provider of technologically advanced, branded networking products, today announced worldwide shipments of the NETGEAR WiFi Phone for Skype™ (model SPH101), the first publicly announced device certified to make Skype WiFi Internet calling a reality for the more than 113 million registered Skype users. The phone, which has already racked up an impressive number of sales orders from eager Skype devotees around the world, is shipping to pre-order customers in the U.S. and Canada starting this week at an MSRP of $249.99 [Amazon]. It will be available in Europe and Asia-Pacific by early October.

“We’re delighted to announce volume shipments of NETGEAR’s WiFi Phone for Skype to our loyal pre-order customers, and to meeting the backlog of an enthusiastic international following,” said Vivek Pathela, NETGEAR’s vice president of product marketing. “Our phone is the ideal solution for die-hard Skype users worldwide, who are now able to take advantage of NETGEAR’s innovative wireless networking technology, and experience Skype in a truly mobile fashion, without a PC.

“Our long working relationship with Skype assures our customers a stable, attractive product of the high quality they associate with the NETGEAR brand. When Skype users use our phone, they’ll appreciate the extra effort we took to achieve an outstanding audio and visual experience. We believe they’ll find it’s been worth the wait,” added Mr. Pathela.

NETGEAR’s WiFi Phone for Skype (SPH101) is the first publicly announced device to enable consumers to make unlimited free domestic and international calls to other Skype users over a wireless network without being tied to a computer. The WiFi phone will work anywhere in the world a user has a secured or open access to a WiFi network—in any home, office, public hotspot, or municipal wireless access point that does not require browser-based authentication. Pre-loaded with Skype software and ready out-of-the-box to use with a wireless network, the user experience remains similar as currently enjoyed by millions of Skype users, who talk for free with their friends using Skype, or pay only a few cents per minute to connect with mobile or landline phones. The phone’s intuitive on-screen menu — in clear, vibrant colors — shows saved Skype contacts and their online availability for easy communications, similar to the PC experience. Customers also enjoy an excellent sound quality without sacrificing talk time or stand-by time. Later this year, NETGEAR’s phone will also support multiple languages.

The NETGEAR WiFi Phone for Skype (SPH101) includes innovative features such as:

  • Making Skype calls to anyone on Skype anywhere in the world for free, no computer required
  • Making and receiving Skype calls wherever the user has open or secured WiFi access that doesn’t require browser-based authentication
  • Enabling Skype calls to ordinary phones worldwide using SkypeOut™ for pennies per minute and without monthly fees
  • Managing contact lists and displaying who is available to talk
  • Forwarding calls to mobile and landline phones or to another Skype user name (with SkypeOut)
  • TFT screens offering extra clarity of vibrant, colorful text
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Wireless security through WEP and WPA-PSK
  • Compatibility with 802.11b/g WiFi standards
  • Software updates achieved wirelessly, without requiring a USB cable

NETGEAR’s WiFi Phone for Skype (SPH101) has earned the Skype Certified™ logo, meeting Skype’s standards for high quality products with design and technical specifications that greatly enhance the user’s experience of Skype. The Skype certification is designed to reassure users that products will be easy to use, and will work well with Skype software. Skype Certified hardware products undergo rigorous testing for more than a month to ensure that they meet Skype’s high usability and technical quality standards. The Skype Certified logo demonstrates Skype’s faith in both the product design and its partnership with NETGEAR.

Richard Webb, directing wireless analyst with Infonetics Research, commented, “Voice over wireless LAN (VoWLAN) adoption is primed for a surge beyond enterprises and into the everyday lives of millions of global consumers looking for a cost-sensitive telephony solution. Companies like NETGEAR will greatly benefit from the enormous popularity of WiFi VoIP phones.”

NETGEAR’s WiFi Phone for Skype (SPH101) is shipping to pre-order customers in the U.S. and Canada and will soon be available in Europe and Asia-Pacific via NETGEAR, Skype, and leading online retailers at an MSRP of $249.99. It is backed by a one-year warranty and 24/7 technical support. All purchasers will enjoy 30 free SkypeOut minutes to any phone worldwide as well as 30 days of free Skype Voicemail — compliments of NETGEAR and Skype. High-resolution photos are available on the company Web site on the NETGEAR Skype WiFi Phone product page.

Please note that the NETGEAR WiFi phone for Skype (SPH101) will not function during a power failure or broadband Internet outage. Neither Skype nor the NETGEAR WiFi Phone is a replacement for your ordinary telephone. Emergency calls will need to be made by alternative methods.

About NETGEAR®, Inc.
NETGEAR® (Nasdaq: NTGR) designs technologically advanced, branded networking products that address the specific needs of small and medium business and home users. The Company’s product offerings enable users to share Internet access, peripherals, files, digital multimedia content and applications among multiple personal computers and other Internet-enabled devices. NETGEAR is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at or call (408) 907-8000.

Filed in: Peripherals