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Land lines pin hopes on European design

The continental market seems to be a key target.


Against all odds, land lines are valiantly forging ahead in hopes of making an unlikely comeback. Though thoroughly mocked by other gadget blogs, for instance, Motorola debuted its "MOTOLIVN" home phone this week for the European market.

Maybe that's a key part of the strategy: Europe. Because Doro, a manufacturer based in Sweden, is also expanding its continental land-line business. And like other European phone makers--namely Philips and Siemens--Doro is focusing its efforts on form as much as function, if not more.

The company says its "NeoBio" line of DECT phones, for example, comes with customizable skins drawn from the design trend of "Neo Naturalism." The skins, which can be applied both to handsets and base units, are "inspired inspired by the natural Scandinavian environment" and meant to blend in with the interior design of individual households. Or maybe it's just a desperate marketing attempt to stave off obsolescence.