updated 11:20 am EST, Mon March 5, 2007
Panasonic Skype Phone
Panasonic this morning released the KX-WP1050, its first voice-over-IP phone. The handset uses Wi-Fi to connect to any local wireless hotspot that doesn't require a website for access; from there, it can place inbound or outbound Skype calls (including to real-world numbers) without requiring a host PC.
Simplifying the process is a unique router bundled with the phone, Panasonic says: plugging in the small network router to a local Internet connection automatically creates a Wi-Fi access point with 256-bit WPA encryption and a quick recharging station for when the phone's 3 hours of talk time are spent. The 1050 should be available now through Panasonic's online shop and other stores for $400. Click through for a full image.