Cisco division Linksys may not get much praise for memorable product monickers…but it looks like they’ve scored a bit of a public relations coupe in announcing its iPhone line of VoIP handsets, snagging a product name which, for about a year now, has been used to describe Apple’s much-anticipated—and still unannounced and unconfirmed—iTunes music phone.
The Linksys iPhones aren’t the company’s first forays into VoIP handsets: the company entered the market in May of this year, and followed up with a handset designed to use Yahoo Messenger just last month. The new iPhone line brings together all of LinkSys’s VoIP handset offering, and introduces two new handsets designed to be used with VoIP giant Skype.
"The development of the iPhone family demonstrates our flexibility in selecting the right partnerships, feature sets, and product designs to exceed the demands of even our most connected customers to whom the Internet is no longer a destination, but an inextricable part of their lives," said Mike Pocock, Linksys senior VP and general manager, in a statement.
The new CIT400 Dual Mode Internet Telephony Kit with Integrated Skype is designed to offer VoIP calling in a home environment, but doesn’t require a PC to use; instead the CIT400 comes with a base station which connects directly to an existing home broadband network, and the dual-mode capability lets users decide whether calls should be handled via Skype or a standard phone line. The handset support SkypeOut, and (natch) rings for both standard and SkypeIn calls. The CIT400 is available now through ecommerce retailers like Amazon.com and VAR partners at a suggested price of $179.99; global availability should happen by the first quarter of 2007.
The WIP3200 Wireless-G Phone for Skype is intended to be an on-the-go phone which provides access to Skype calling from available Wi-Fi hotspots. The WIP3200 supports SkypeIn and SkypeOut calling, displays the caller’s ID on screen, and supports Caller ID and Skype’s optional voicemail service. The handset also features a mute button and a built-in speakerphone. The WIP3200 is available now in North America with a suggested price of $199.90; it should be available in Europe, Asia, and Latin America in the first quarter of 2007.