Skype Goes Retail


Skype just signed an agreement with Brightpoint, to sell and promote Skype products via the retail channel. Incase you did not know, Brightpoint is a cellular wholesaler. This is a major move, which pits Skype against Vonage. (We said so!) Secondly, I believe this is clear indication that the viral marketing campaign is running out of gas, and the company realizes that it needs to step-up the marketing if it needs to trump other VoIP rivals. It should and must be worried about cellular companies’ voip plans. SIP is also trying hard to get a peer-to-peer makeover, and become a more potent competitor. More on this later. Meanwhile, Skype has also added voicemail services.



I think vonage is a true phone company. As such, Skype does not yet compete with them. Vonage is for users who USE the phone. Who pick it up and dial it. Who answer it when it rings. Who want to keep the number they have had for years. Most folks don’t want to sit at the computer with a headset on and dial out and use skype. Its more of a souped up IM program. Skype may be in that market someday. But until it has a product that allows you to actually pick up and use the phone, Vonage won’t be troubled. The real story is here is how Vonage is gobbling up market share from Ma Bell, aka your local phone company.


Aswath Rao

Since Skype gets to make multiple announcements for the same thing (voice mail in beta; ability to send to non-subscribers as well; full release etc) I guess I am allowed to point out repeatedly that this is yet another example of a company going against its own fundamental philosophy.

Here is a P2P company that offers a server based service just so that they can have some revenue. In MSN, offline messages are sent to your email. Don’t you think voice messages can be done the same way as well? Furthermore, when most of the web-based email services are free of subscription, a P2P company is charging yearly fee for this service, however small that amount may be.

Is there a conspiracy of silence when it comes to the darling of the blogosphere? Or only Bellheads can be called evil?

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