Cordless Skype Phone Cuts Ties To PC

RTX Products says the Dualphone 3088 lets users plug a broadband and a landline connection into the phone's base station, giving them the option of using either mode to make calls. The phone provides access to nearly all Skype voice features through its color display, and can be plugged into a high-speed router in a home network. The new product has a battery life of about 10 hours of talk time, and up to 140 hours on standby.

"We see the greatest opportunity in the price-conscious mass market, where ease of use is essential," Tage Rasmussen, chief executive of parent company RTX Telecom, said in a statement.

The phone is scheduled to be available Dec. 1 at European retailers and at the Skype online store for 159 euros, which is about $209 U.S. RTX is making the new platform and product available for licensing by global brand manufacturers.

RTX is not the first manufacturer to announce a PC-free cordless phone. Skype unveiled this year a dual-mode cordless phone manufactured by Philips Electronics and Netgear. The Philips VOIP841 phone also is expected to be available this holiday season.

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Skype, based in Luxembourg, is owned by online marketplace eBay. Skype, which is stronger in Europe than in the United States, saw a 13% rise in revenue in the third quarter, to $50 million from $44 million.