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The iPhone for your home phoneline?

John Sculley touted his OpenFrame phone at CES yesterday, positioning it as the iPhone for the home phoneline.  It's a nice looking phone no doubt, and he says he's lining up carriers for distribution.


I have my doubts it will succeed.

  1. High end phones for home have never sold that well.  When I was part of the Windows CE group at Microsoft we built one of these devices in the late 1990's.  Codenamed Hermes, it sported a touch screen, address book, internet connectivity and more.  The bill of materials costs for the phone put it out of the reach of the average consumer, so we cancelled the project.  Most every other phone like it since has been canned for the same reasons.
  2. The landline is a dying beast.  All the trends today point to mobile phones as the phones of the future.

Speaking as a dinosaur who still owns a land line, and a gadget freak, I might buy one of your phones John.  There's probably a few more folks like me out there too.  Just don't expect mainstream America to be snapping these up. 

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • jules January 9, 2008, 6:18 am

    I like it! I think I will always have a landline, but it will just be VoIP, not TDM – unless cell phone plans become uber cheap in the next few years (fingers crossed, of course)
    That is one sexy phone. I hope its address book can integrate with others that I've got :-)

  • Dean Collins April 2, 2008, 9:39 am

    Hi Alec,

    I was just sent this link via a friend in the know. It's a shame I missed it when you first published.

    I think you are wrong wrong wrong.

    A smart home phone terminal is definately a go'er'. And has huge potential.

    As the COO of one of Australia's leading ISP's back in another lifetime we looked very closely into this marketspace (as part of a very advanced triple play closed environment massive services plan into multi-dwelling home unit development which allowed us a lot of additional functionality).

    Whilst I haven't viewed openframe yet and cant comment on it's potential, anyone else building soemthing in this space is free to get in contact with me for some indepth research.

    I feel the time for this is ripe particularly with the volume of web services API's on offer.

    Think Chumby with and SIP ATA and PSTN connection.


  • Alec April 2, 2008, 10:12 am

    There were all failures in North America, Dean. In Oz… well, YMMV!

  • Dr. David Deak January 1, 2011, 6:27 pm

    I can't believe you missed the most important "sell feature" that is missing in your design approach, but an an inventor I must take advantage of this golden opportunity.

    May the best phone win.

    Dr. Deak

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