Skypephone S3 coming 'by Q4 2009'

3's CEO reveals details of forthcoming handset

Skypephone S2

3's UK CEO, Kevin Russell, has revealed that the company is working on a new version of the Skypephone, which will be delivered later this year.

Speculation has been growing in recent weeks over a new version of the Skypephone, with the original S1 and newer S2 being sold out in recent weeks.

But Russell said at a recent 3 round table discussion: "The next Skypephone will be coming Q4 [2009] at the latest, which is an exciting proposition."

He mentioned the new phone in association with the new Skype deal 3 has announced, where the company will give the customer unlimited Skype use from their handset for the price of a £1.99 SIM card, with no expiry or top ups needed.

Bringing back value

As part of the deal, 3 hopes to bring out a wide range of lower cost 'value' handsets which will be appealing to the 'mass market'.

The mention of the new Skypephone came after Russell was quizzed on whether allowing consumers to bring their own handsets to the Skype deal would mean the end of the Skypephone line.

But Russell said, in addition to revealing about the new handset: "The best Skype experience will still be on a 3 Skypephone or the INQ1, as for heavy users of Skype, they just work superbly."

He also said that the company is not looking at high end propositions for this market, ie the likes of Android or the iPhone, as the company preferred to concentrate on the lower end of the market.

"If we could have the iPhone, we would range the iPhone, but we wouldn't predicate out internet strategy around that.

"It's a great product, but our focus is on the mass market, not £45 per month contracts. We prefer to offer £60-£80 pre-pay handsets."