Inexpensive Skype Handsets Reach US

A Taiwanese start-up began selling handsets used with Skype's popular Internet phone calling software in the U.S. early this month for about half the price of rival products.

Ipevo Inc., which is based in San Jose, California, hopes its low prices, along with the hype surrounding eBay Inc.'s recent US$2.6 billion purchase of Skype Technologies SA, will help increase its exposure to users in the U.S.

"Ipevo just started in October and we're nobody to U.S. consumers, plus we only sell our products form our Web site -- which is where we think buyers can get the best deal. We need to work with Skype and even eBay to let Skype users in the U.S. know about us and our products," said Robert Lo, chief operating officer at Ipevo.

The company, which has been wildly successful in Taiwan, currently offers two USB (universal serial bus) handset models to U.S. users from its Web site, the Free-1, which comes in black or white for US$29.99, or two for US$54.99; and the Touch-1, in the same two colors, for US$15.99, or two for $29.99. Comparable products sold by Skype's own store,, cost $59.99 for the CyberPhone K, and €54.50 (US$66) for the Simply Phone.

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News source: CIO

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