Brand recognition is huge and that’s why so many companies want to sell cell phones of their own, even if they’re not the ones manufacturing the actual handsets. We’ve seen things like the LG Prada phone and the Bang & Olufsen phones by Samsung, but those were meant more for fashion rather than function.
By contrast, Skype already has a huge following of people who love using their service for VoIP. Recognizing this, Skype is getting ready to make a cell phone of their own that will seamlessly switch between calls over a WiFi network and ones over a conventional cellular network. Skype has reportedly joined forces with 3 on this effort, working on a phone with 3G HSDPA when it’s not taking advantage of a WiFi hotspot.
The idea is that you won’t even know the difference between making calls on either a cellular network or on a WiFi connection, much like the UMA service from T-Mobile. Word is that a Skype-branded mobile phone could be ready as early as next month, with initial shipments being sent to UK, Italy, Australia, and Hong Kong.