By harnessing the user’s regular Internet data Skype can make phone calls that travel in part over the Internet before hopping on to the conventional telephone network at various Skype junctions around the world.
In fact, Skype – the company – made $US 153m last quarter alone through sales of the necessary Skype-Out credits required to call such non-tech folk.
Skype believe current global economic conditions are driving people to seek more cost-effective ways of making telephone calls and this is where they believe they are an attractive proposition to residential and business users alike.
The figures prove Skype’s usage is increasing. In the first quarter 24 billion minutes of calls were made, which equates to 8% of all the calls made in the world. This is up from 6% for first quarter 2008.
Almost one third of Skype’s 442 million users are in the Asia-Pacific region and the time was ripe to sell direct to the local public via the Australian online store.
Items available so far include call credit and accessories like headsets, webcams and phone handsets – allowing you to use a traditional-looking handset without tying up your computer.
The store is available by clicking the Shop link within the version 4 Windows client software, or through their web site.
Skype Asia-Pacific Vice President Dan Neary has indicated the company may also, in time, implement a physical presence through kiosks.