September 30, 2009 / 8:36 PM / 10 years ago

Verizon discontinues Internet Hub phone

A man looks at his phone as he walks past a Verizon wireless store in New York, July 30, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. mobile service, quietly stopped selling the Verizon Hub on Tuesday, just eight months after it launched the experimental device which combined a home telephone and Web applications.

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, did not explain why it stopped selling the device, which launched on February 1.

“We look at our products and we rotate them in and out. This isn’t anything other than business as usual,” company spokeswoman Brenda Raney said. “Technology is changing and there may be different opportunities available.”

Verizon, whose traditional home phone service has been steadily losing customers, had said in January that the Hub, with its roomy touch screen display and Web apps like weather and traffic reports, was a reinvention of the home phone.

It had also shown prototypes for future hub products and talked about plans to build a special app store for the device, which cost $199 and came with a $34.99 monthly fee on top of home broadband service fees.

However, analysts had said at the time that the company would have a tough time convincing consumers that the device was so much better than a traditional home phone that it was worth paying extra for, especially in a weak economy.

Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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