Skype Journal Test

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hello Apple! IPEVO diversifies

Speakerphones. I love 'em. I'm using one from IPEVO now.

trio-ichat-fronttrio-ichat-sidetrio-ichat-backSwing by your local Apple store and you'll find IPEVO's new TR-10 for iChat in the speaker section.

It's the TR-10 for Skype but with reprinted buttons and software for your Mac. IPEVO's software lets you control iChat from the trio and record your iChat calls. $79.90 MSRP.

Gee. Apple? For a company created to build products for Skype in North America?

Skype hasn't promoted IPEVO's seven Skype-integrated products much.

  • Only occasional referrals from to
  • Skype certification which lets IPEVO put a Skype logo/badge on their boxes, for which IPEVO pays a hefty royalty.
  • Skype helped some hardware partners find some shelf space in Wal-Marts for the last two years, but not IPEVO.
  • It's only been this year that Skype is finally becoming a consumer brand name in the US and Canada.

I can't find IPEVO in the online Skype store.

Apple, on the other hand, has stores. These are shots of the merchandise on Cupertino and New York City shelves. 

IPEVO TR-10 at Apple Stores IPEVO TR-10 at Apple Stores

Skype had the potential for a large and healthy hardware ecosystem. Sadly, hardware partners from Skype's early days have burned through so much cash, talent and goodwill, that most have walked away from Skype.

The few remaining, like IPEVO, are eager to partner with companies that help them demonstrate design leadership or even simple distribution support. They may love Skype, but relationships are two-way streets.

trio-ichat-oblique by you.

From the spec sheet:

Package Content

Dimensions / Weight

  • Size: 15.1x4.2x3.7cm (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 140g


  • White

Control Buttons

  • iChat window launch
  • Dial / Answer
  • Cancel / Hang up
  • MIC mute
  • Volume control
  • Record / Pause
  • Stop record
  • Mode switch

LED Indicators

  • Green Active LED to indicate: incoming call, outgoing call, call in
  • Red Active LED to indicate: microphone mute
  • Green Power LED to indicate: power on/off
  • Red Record LED to indicate: record on/off/pause
  • Green Switch LED to indicate: speaker / handset mode

Audio Performance

  • Microphone Voice Sampling Rate: (UPDATED 17-October-2008)
    • Speakerphone: 8KHz
    • Handset (holding up to your ear): 16Khz
  • Communication: Full Duplex
  • Echo cancellation: up to 60dB
  • Support AGC (auto gain control) function

Electrical Specifications

  • Operating Voltage: 4.5V ~ 5.5V
  • Magnetic Speaker
    • Coil Resistance: 4 +/- 0.6 Ohm
    • Sound Pressure Level: 80 dBSPL@0.5m
  • Condenser Microphone
    • Omni directional
    • Sensitivity: -36 +/- 3 dB
  • Receiver
    • Sensitivity: 90 dBA
    • Frequency response: 180~7Hz

Hardware Description

  • USB 2.0 compatible
  • Internal omni microphone
  • 4Ω 2W speaker
  • Power from USB

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows XP and Vista (32-bit)
  • Mac OS X 10.4 up
  • 400MHz processor
  • 128MB RAM
  • 40MB free hard disk space
  • USB port
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Broadband Internet connection (DSL, Cable Modem…, etc)

Regulatory Compliance

  • FCC
  • CE
  • RoHs

See also:

Photo credits: IPEVO.

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At October 17, 2008 at 2:34 AM , Anonymous jan geirnaert said...

yes it a nice brand, it works. tested some Ipevo devices. Nice design, cool interface. No real problems... I do wonder how much devices they have sold globally and why skype is not listing them in their own store... Also have not seen a skype update for the Ipevo device standalone phone lately plus some issues with their devices that run on Windows Vista, or rather that don't run...

At October 17, 2008 at 2:38 AM , Anonymous jan geirnaert said...

overall I can't see skype as a very much (what an understatement...) present brand in the IT retail stores over here in Malaysia. I know this statement is based on direct observation and gut feeling, but hey last year there were much more devices in stock.... nowadays even phil gotto pull up a story on something that exists already like a year. the hardware gadget hype is long long over and it does not seem to revive... it's been like 1 year since got any sample to review... and it's not like there is nothing to say about it anymore, except that hardware and other skype hype has died out. very few innovation has risen to the surface lately...

At October 17, 2008 at 5:12 AM , Anonymous J.A. Watson said...

Ok, everyone here who is surprised raise your hands...

I thought so. This is a perfect example of Skype doing exactly what they always do - treating their users, customers and partners like dirt, while strutting around and squawking about how much they "love" them.

In the specific case of partners, they are either ignoring them, not helping with sales or marketing, or they are actively stabbing them in the back by coming out with their own product to compete with their "partners". Gee, I wonder why a company with a good product in a market with other choices would branch out...

jw 17/10/2008

At October 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM , Anonymous Jim Courtney said...

Those who have actually read the interview with Josh Silverman will see that all the partner programs have been recognized as needing a revamp. The challenge is to come up with a program that creates a level playing field for all partners and makes it relatively easy for a partner to become involved beyond meeting certain technical compatibility and reliability requirements. This was identified as an issue a year ago in my Primer series. (Hardware, Software) But Skype needs to fill the open executive postion with someone who has experience with both the business and technical aspects of such a program. In the interview, Josh pointed out there is a job opening for such a person. In the meantime they are best to stay silent on the issue.

Just to re-emphasize that we have not been hiding the issue let me restate from the interview post on partnerships:

"sorting out its platform strategy and partner relationships, and giving them appropriate visibility, is perhaps one of the biggest challenges that Josh and his team face in sustaining Skype's presence in the IP-based conversation space. In our interview with Josh it became quite apparent that these issues have not missed Josh's scrutiny leading up to the business reorganization".

You start with getting an experience executive who understands business partnerships in the technology world. It's going to take a lot of work to get the partner program back on track.

And, btw, last month I found Skype-certified IPEVO products at Fry's in Sunnyvale. But, having worked with Fry's as a vendor customer in the past and having met IPEVO's key staff, I'm sure the presence of IPEVO products at Fry's is the result of IPEVO's efforts.


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