VTech adds IM to home phones--but why?

Is it that hard to use the computer?

VTech

Some companies just refuse to give up on an idea, no matter how illogical it may be. That seems to be the case with VTech, which is still trying to sell the concept of a land-line phone with computer-like features.

More than a year ago the company came out with its "infoPhone," a cordless handset that included limited online functions, such as getting news headlines and doing local directory searches--a classic example, we thought, of a solution in search of a problem. But this year, rather than ditching the idea, VTech has actually expanded the concept in its new IS6110 model to include instant messaging when connected to a computer, as well as a QWERTY keypad, according to Electronic House.

So let's get this straight: VTech is making land-line handsets that resemble smartphones, which were originally created to perform tasks that weren't otherwise available away from home. But if you're already at home--presumably within a few feet of a computer--is an IM phone really necessary? Apparently we're missing something here.

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