Skype goes mainstream on Wal-Mart shelves

Skype makes it way onto the shelves of 1,800 stores

American shoppers will be able to buy Skype hardware and pre-paid voice-over-IP calling cards in about half of Wal-Mart's stores nationwide starting this week.

While some Skype gear has been available for more than a year in some Wal-Mart stores, the expansion to 1,800 stores for Skype hardware sales and the addition of US$20 Skype pre-paid cards shows the rapid growth of consumer VoIP adoption.

Skype competitor Vonage also sells products in Wal-Mart stores, but Skype will be first with the pre-paid cards, a Skype spokesman said.

Nearly 10% of all landline phone lines in U.S. households in 2006 were VoIP-based, a percentage that should reach nearly 35% by 2010, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade group.

"We have taken a sharp focus to launch the products and brands that consumers are moving toward at the most affordable prices," said Kevin O'Connor, general merchandise manager for Wal-Mart electronics in a statement. "The Skype hardware and pre-paid cards are a great fit with Wal-Mart."

Skype, an eBay company, has about 196 million registered users globally. The new $20 cards can be redeemed for international calls at rates as low as 2.1 cents per minute.

Also, Wal-Mart is selling a pre-paid card for a three-month subscription to the Skype Unlimited Calling Plan for US$8.85, which provides three months of unlimited Skype calling to any landline or cell phone number in the U.S. and Canada. Such outbound calls are provided over SkypeOut, but a user will also need to purchase SkypeIn service, for about US$12 for three months.

The hardware products being sold include headsets for less than US$15, Webcams and voice handsets, all manufactured by 50 different electronics manufacturers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?