Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bluetooth for cordless phones

By making driving while holding cellphone illegal in California, the lawmakers have obviously given a big push to the use of bluetooth headsets that have pretty much become a common sight now. And honestly even though some of us may gripe about spending money in buying a headset (including yours truly), the benefits of hands-free talking are almost instantly felt. So far so good.

What happens when the same user is using a cordless phone at home? (As regards to why users may prefer using a cordless phone at home versus their cell phones should be a no-brainer; talk to anyone who ever dared to exceed their day-time minutes and thereby incurring the wrath of cell phone company's per minute charges). Coming back to the original question, the same user who is used to using a bluetooth headset while talking on cellphone would want the same ease of use while talking on cordless phones. One would almost think that the cordless phone manufacturers would have incorporated Bluetooth in their gigantic (relative to a cell phone) handsets.

Its time for a reality check....

Panasonic (world #1 in cordless phone sales)

None of its cordless phones have bluetooth capability. However, they do sell a model which allows one to "link" one's cell phone to the cordless phone over bluetooth so at home you would use only one phone ... your cordless phone. However, the phones handsets do not have bluetooth capability for pairing with a bluetooth handsfree.

Vtech (World #2)

They are doing much better with their high-end models having a bluetooth capability for both linking with cell phone and also pairing with a bluetooth headset. It seems as of now this feature is available in only 3 models (I am assuming that the cost of adding a bluetooth transciever in a cordless phone will only be marginal considering that the technology is fairly standardized and as such I'd expect bluetooth to be a must-have feature in all cordless phones). Vtech currently provides Bluetooth capability in only 2 models:

Gigaset aka Siemens (World #3)

They seem to be doing the best of all by having multiple phones supporting Bluetooth but I must say that even though their phones look the sleekest, they ccompensate their strength in design by creating a technology confusion... have a look at their website and you will see acronyms like ECO DECT (I had heard DECT but what the heck is ECO DECT), HDSP, HSP....

Though I am by no means a professional marketeer, how do they imagine the potential buyers of cordless phones understanding and appreciating this complex terminology. Even though the observation is definitely not new by any means, I fail to understand why companies fail to empathize with their customers.... please talk to us in a language that we speak, understand and appreciate and hey, we will reciprocate by making more money for you!

Uniden (World #4)

Let's not go there....

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