The new VoIP phones are exciting. They stand tall on the desk, proud – showing off their large screens and numerous (Superfluous) buttons. It is very impressive to see the product placement of these large phones in so many television shows.
But what I don’t understand is why are they all still so big?
My cell phone, smaller and lighter than just my handset on my desk phone. It contains:
- A full directory/address book
- Wifi capability
- Speaker phone
- Bluetooth and Headset jack
- Email client
- IM client
My desk phone is a large phone, probably the biggest phone I’ve ever had. It contains:
- A nice quality speaker phone
- Headset Jack
- Esoteric menu button for difficult to access features
- Large LCD display with less functionality than my cell phone display
- An Extra LAN port
That is about it. So with all this technology, why can’t we get the phones smaller?
These type of size contraditions appear elsewhere in technology – but not quite like this. Compare a notebook with a PC desktop. In less size than the desktop processor alone, the notebook has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. But typically the notebook costs more. We pay a premium for the small size and portability. Not the case with phones. In fact, the bigger and heavier the phone, the more expensive.
I don’t beleive the desktop phone needs more features. These advanced features we desire will soon all be available via the desktop. However, I do beleive the desktop phone needs to get much smaller. In fact, like the old Trimline phone – basically the footprint of a comfortable handset.
I predict the Trimline will come back again. Probably as a wireless phone (unseen base using Dect technology), the push buttons on the inside, and a small display on the back. Just like keyboards, we can’t get too small. The phone can’t get much smaller than a comfortable handset – and soon the PBX vendors will figure it out.