Linksys announced Dec. 18 that it will launch its new iPhone family of voice over IP offerings for consumers, including small and midsize businesses.
The Irvine, Calif.-based VOIP service providers iPhones are handheld devices that will let users access the Internet, multimedia content and information services while also offering users improved voice communications.
Dennis Vogel, senior manager of product marketing for Linksys, told eWEEK that the Linskys iPhone will provide users with "more than just talk VOIP experience, as the iPhone will provide users with an Internet-centric functionality that users would not get from a typical phone."
The new iPhone handheld devices from Linksys use Skype and Yahoo Messenger with Voice, which will allow users to see when their personal contacts are online and if those contacts are able to receive a call.
As part of Yahoo Messenger with Voice, Linksys iPhone Dual-Mode Cordless Phone with Yahoo Messenger and Voice (CIT310) will let users access Internet services such as Yahoo Local Search and weather.
The CIT310 will also allow users to set up their phone with a local zip code, enabling the user to browse for local business information from their handheld device and then place a call to the business with one click.
"The iPhone will make things more convenient for business users and save them time by allowing them to pull up a directory listing right from their handset," said Vogel.
Jeff Bonforte, senior director of Real Time Communications for Yahoo, said in a release that "providing consumers the ability to use Yahoo services to search for local businesses, check weather and have full access to their Yahoo Messenger Contact List on the Linksys dual-mode iPhone was an important step as the convergence between Web services and handsets continue to advance."
The release of the iPhone product family also includes the Wireless-G IP Phone (WIP330), which integrates the popular standards-based SIP VOIP protocol so that users can access music, photos and streaming videos from sources on the Internet.
With the WIP330, users will also be able to combine the product with wireless video cameras such as the Linksys Wireless-G Compact Video Camera (WVC54GC), to create a home monitoring platform.
Skype is also involved with Linksys iPhone family of products as the iPhone Dual-Mode Internet Telephony Kit fir Skype (CIT400) features a cordless phone base station that is attached to the home network through an Ethernet, allowing users to make calls to other Skype users, mobile phones or land lines without having to turn on a computer.
The iPhone Wireless-G Phone for Skype (WIP320) will allow users to make calls from anywhere they can connect to a wireless access point.
"Each generation of phone offerings from Linksys has offered Skype users increased flexibility in how they make calls," said Gareth OLoughlin, director of hardware product management for Skype, in the release.
The Linksys iPhone product line is available immediately with prices ranging from $79 to $369.99, depending on which platform a user purchases.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include information and comments from Linksys.