An American road tests the Skypephone

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Billy Purser of ChannelAdvisor was absolutely amazed at my 3 Skypephone when I showed it to him at the Catalyst US conference. It appears that there is nothing like it in the US, and in fact my distinct impression is that Skype usage is not nearly as prevalent on the other side of the Atlantic as it is in Europe.

Knowing he was due to visit London, I promised to buy him a Skypephone to use at Catalyst UK this week. Billy loved the idea of being able to keep in touch with his family, and more importantly for his kids to be able to phone him whenever they liked.

He explained that Christian (aged 9) and Sully (aged 6) had really missed their mom when she visited the EU. While she was in London and Italy there was no way for them to easily keep in touch. For this trip Billy explained to Christian and Sully, before he left, that they’d be able to call him on Skype whenever they liked.

His kids have been really excited and have called Billy two or three times every day, as they’ve been off school. Having them gathered around the home PC on speaker phone has enabled the whole family to chat at the same time. The best part of all, is that calls to Billy didn’t have to be pre-arranged and of course were free.

With calls for eBay to sell Skype, investors would do well to look at Skype outside the US. 209 million users can’t all be wrong, Skype is making good money, and the applications and potential for growth is immense. Tools like the Skypephone whilst great for keeping in touch with family are even more powerful when used for business, such as for buyers to contact sellers instantly from eBay listings or websites.

Skype is continually innovating and generating new tools and interfaces to communicate, the Skypephone is just one of them. eBay would be mad to dispose of the fastest growing communications company in the world, it’s an asset they could never replace.

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