For much of its existence, the cell phone had long played second-fiddle to the home phone as the wireless wonders implied expensive plans and inferior voice quality. Increasingly, though, consumers are finding connections to data services as critical as voice connections, and despite attempts that have ranged from the Cidco iPhone (yes, there was one years before iPhones by Cisco and Apple) and more recently the RSS-savvy GE InfoLink (now abandoned by Thomson's exit from the cordless handset business), the home phone has begun to lag far behind its portable cousin as an Internet resource.
Enter our nation's two largest telecom providers. Triple-play aspirant Verizon Wireless has joined rival AT&T in offering a touch-screen, Internet-savvy home phone system heavy on information delivery and communications functionality while working with up to four DECT expansion handsets. Unlike the questionably named Samsung HomeManager offered by AT&T, the screen on the Verizon Hub cannot be carried conveniently about the house like a tablet display. The Verizon Hub also uses IP for its voice and data communications whereas HomeManager uses broadband for data and a traditional circuit-switched connection for voice calls. Why would Verizon blithely bypass its own copper?