USB Internet Phones
Selecting the right USB Internet phone for Skype or other instant message programs is no longer a daunting task. Use our history of the Skype usb phone below to make your USB internet phone purchase a snap.
USB Internet Phones - History
There once was a time when you had to use a simple headset/microphone to make internet phone calls. This was problematic becomes the headset and microphone would hi-jack your computer speakers -- not to mention it did not provide a 'phone' experience. Along came USB Internet Phones to the rescue! These communication devices started as simple usb phones, but have developed into powerful internet phone solutions.
Before we start.... where can you buy our Internet Phones?
- USB Corded Internet Phones
- USB Cordless Internet Phone
- USB Dualphones
- USB Speakerphones (Conference)
Simple USB Internet Phones
As expected, the first batch of usb internet phones were as simple as could be... the devices looked like a phone, and felt like a phone but had very few if any advanced features. In other words, these simple usb internet phones were a headset/microphone built into one case. Nothing more.
Very few of these simple usb phones are sold today through major retailers (including ourselves). One such device, the AU-100 USB internet phone is still going strong because it works with various VoIP programs, and has an open SDK. This usb phone works great if you need the simplest of solutions, and not willing to splurge $20 on an internet phone.
If you see one of the first generation usb internet phones, buy one and save it. It could be worth money some day!
USB Phones Mature
After the first batch of simple internet phones debut, it did not take long before the second generation of usb phones to trickle into the market. The second generation of USB internet phones included such features as a LCD display, echo and noise cancellation, and even 16 bit sound. You could now expect to experience a true phone conversation through the internet.
Once oversea manufacturers saw that there was a demand for USB internet phones in Europe as well as North America, the trickle became a flood. It seemed that every day there was a new usb internet phone hitting the market from a different manufacturer. In the end, quality survived the elimination process and usb internet phone manufacturers like Yealink, Atcom, and IPevo solidified their early position as market leaders.
Their products, including the Yealink P1K, Ipevo Free1 among others lead the instant message voip upsurge -- especially for Skype. But there was one problem... you were tied to the computer via the USB cord....
Detour: USB Internet Phones for Business
Oversea manufacturer's were happy to oblige and produced products taylor-made for industry. Included in this generation of phones were quality products like the Yealink P4K, Polycom Communicator and Ipevo X1N6. The reviews on these usb phones were spectacular and they even started to make in-roads in the consumer market.
These products are still going strong and adding features. For example Yealink added a video camera to their product under the name P4V.
Back to normal schedule: USB Internet Phones go Cordless
As the story progresses, consumers loved their USB internet phones but there was one glaring problem -- they wanted cordless solutions. It wasn't a quick solution... but when tier-one companies (Philips, Linksys, Belkin, GE, RTX) saw that usb phones were selling in quantity, they applied some R&D funds and found great solutions.
In fact, not only did these companies provide cordless usb solutions for voip calls they took it one step further. They added dual-phone capabilities to their products. Now, a consumer could have a Skype phone and normal PSTN phone all in one device.
These product lines sold like hot cakes. In fact, the single greatest selling USB internet phone may be the RTX Dualphone. If someone ever develops a hall of fame for usb internet phones, the RTX Dualphone will surely be inducted.
Is the end for USB phones near?
Many of the usb phones have hit end of life. Sadly their run has as technology leaders in the VoIP market has come and gone. New technology like pc-less devices for Skype are in vogue.... is there end near? No!
The story does not end here! No good Hollywood movie ends with the good guy dying... same with USB internet phones. Yes, there are $150 solutions that do not require a computer. However, USB internet phones still play an important part in voip communication. As long as people want free or low cost internet communication solutions, the USB phone will thrive.
So there it is... the history (although still developing) of the USB Internet Phone. Thanks for reading.