When is the last time you used your landline? In fact, do you still have a real landline, or is it now a VoIP line, or does it come provided from your internet service provider in a handy package? A lot of us aren't using landlines anymore, but that doesn't mean that they aren't relevant. In fact, a lot of older people still swear by them. Now, VoIP gadget MagicJack will help seniors and people who just don't want to deal with the whole VoIP thing make cheap phone calls using their computers.
MagicJack is a device that lets users make and receive calls over it's Web-based network. What's really interesting is that it allows you to hook up a standard phone to your computer, via a USB port. MagicJack is currently a top seller, moving almost 10,000 units a day. The service, which usually costs $20 a year, will gain number portability in 2009, letting their customers use MagicJack with their own phone numbers. The device itself is a $40 USB jack that is sold via Best Buy, RadioShack, and Walgreen's. What's important to remember is that it lets you place and receive an unlimited number of phone calls. Also, the first year of service is completely free.
According to Daniel Borislow, the company's founder, customers are placing about 500 million minutes a month. The parent company YMax Communications is raking in the big bucks. They are already reporting over $100 million in sales this year. In an era of Skype and VoIP, many older people are buying this device. It's true that not everyone is comfortable dealing with routers and VoIP services, which is why MagicJack is so popular. It's plug and play. Many customers are in California and Florida, and a lot of them are retired. The median age of customers is over 50 and about 20% are living overseas. This allows people traveling and living abroad to place cheap phone calls to the US and Canada.
The company is getting ready to launch some new technology soon. It's a wireless base station for your home, named Femtocell, which lets you use your cell phone with the MagicJack service. So basically, you could use your iPhone anywhere in your place, but you won't be using your service provider, you'd be using MagicJack. However, there is a big difference between YMax and other internet phone providers. Since YMax is an actual phone company, it can receive phone numbers for free, whereas others have to pay for them. If you've ever wanted someone to use a VoIP service easily, this would be it. The only drawback is that your computer has to be on in order to use the phone. However in most homes, computers are already on at all times, so this isn't that much of a drawback.
[via The Business Insider]