Taiwan’s Accton planning Skype-compatible products

Accton Technology Corp., a Taiwanese electronics maker, will work with Skype Technologies SA on a range of Skype-compatible products, the two companies said last week.

Accton said the Skype products will enable customers to use the VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) software without the need for a personal computer. Until now, Skype has been largely used on computers and comes in versions for Windows XP, Mac OS X, Linux and the Windows Mobile operating systems. However, several companies have said they are developing products, including Wi-Fi telephone handsets, that will be compatible with the popular VoIP phone service.

One of the first products to come from the alliance is expected to be the VM1185T, a Wi-Fi Skype handset that looks like a cell phone. The handset will go into mass production in the first quarter of 2006, said Lucile Lu, a spokeswoman for Accton in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Few details of the VM1185T are available, although the company distributed an image of the product that appears identical to Accton’s VM1188T, a Wi-Fi handset compatible with the SIP (session initiation protocol) standard used by most VoIP providers. The VM1188T supports 802.11b/g wireless LAN networks, WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) and WPA2.

The VM1188T measures 115 millimeters by 49.5mm by 19mm.

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