There's a new tech wave washing up at Wal-Mart
This isn't necessarily a major catch for Wal-Mart. RadioShack
Skype has nearly 200 million registered users worldwide. The service allows users to communicate via text, voice, and video with other PC-tethered Skype users for free. They can also pay as little as $0.021 per minute for voice calls placed to conventional telephones and mobile devices. That kind of value proposition usually sells briskly at a discounter like Wal-Mart. However, it also demands a generous level of Web sophistication and connectivity that isn't usually associated with Wal-Mart shoppers. Remember, Wal-Mart has struggled in the past to move Internet-based services like online access and DVD rentals.
The young and thrifty consumers turning to Skype are more likely to congregate at cheap-chic haven Target
It's more important to note that this deal broadens Skype's brand awareness. It might not be an easy sell, but a spot on Wal-Mart's shelves will help the Skype brand become more of a household word. It's another step forward toward ubiquity, even if the cash registers aren't initially kind.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has probably spent more at Wal-Mart's online store than at its offline empire in recent years. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.