CES 2006: Skype teams up with six new partners to expand VoIP options

Skype, looking to stengthen its positioning in the VoIP market, has announced seven deals with consumer electronics industry leaders that will aim to make internet calling even easier for consumers.

The companies include Creative, D-Link, IPEVO, Kodak, Netgear, Panasonic and VTech.

With Creative, the company has launched the Creative Skype Internet PhonePLUS - a standalone phone that enables anyone to make free Skype calls over the Internet without a PC connection

With D-Link, the D-Link Skype USB Phone Adapter (DPH-50U), a Skype phone adapter that enables the use of Skype on a traditional phone.

With IPEVO, the IPEVO Fly-1 Cordless Handset and Xing Speakerphone, a PC and Mac compatible IPEVO Fly-1 cordless Skype USB handset and an IPEVO Xing Skype USB speakerphone.

With Kodak, the KODAK Photo Voice, a beta version of the first Skype-certified online photo sharing service.

With Panasonic, a cordless telephone product that interfaces directly with Skype, allowing users to make and receive Skype calls and traditional calls using the same device.

With VTech, the USB7100 Phone an expandable phone with up to four handsets and allows users to view their online contacts.

And one further device from Netgear which has yet to be announced.

With these new products, Skype is hoping consumers will be able to use cordless phones away from the desktop to make Skype calls.

“The growing Skype ecosystem of leading consumer electronics companies gives Skype users innovative, easy-to-use products and validates the market for internet calling”. said James Bilefield, vice president of business development for Skype.

UPDATE: The NETGEAR WiFi phone has been confirmed. The new phone will offer users the ability to use the skype service whenever they are are within a wireless internet access point. With this device, headphones or USB phones plugged into a laptop or PC are not required.