Commentary
9/29/2009
09:39 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary

The Verizon Hub Bites The Dust

Hi, my name is Eric, and I bought the Verizon Hub. I wanted to keep up with the Joneses and thought it would be really cool to have an Internet tablet in my kitchen. Turns out, I was wrong.



Hi, my name is Eric, and I bought the Verizon Hub. I wanted to keep up with the Joneses and thought it would be really cool to have an Internet tablet in my kitchen. Turns out, I was wrong.The Hub was first announced by Verizon Wireless early this year. The device passed calls through the Internet and featured a base that had a large screen and could display gobs of data. Some of the services available to the Hub were weather reports, live traffic, movie ticket information, streaming video and so on.

Personally, my experience with the Hub was pretty bad. It worked well for a few weeks, but eventually starting having problems making and receiving phone calls -- which you'd think would be a no-brainer for Verizon Wireless. It was so bad that the device barely functioned at all during the months of May and June. After endless tech-support calls, I returned the whole shebang to Verizon Wireless. (Turns out an uncontrollable switching problem in my local Internet node was the root of the problem. At least, that's what Verizon tech support told me.)

The device lost its shelf space in Verizon Wireless' retails shops several months ago. Verizon continued to sell it online, but it can be pretty hard to sell stuff when consumers can't put their hands on it and see how it works. The base unit cost $200, which was pretty steep. Satellite handsets cost $80 each. The service cost another $35 per month, and required that users also have Verizon Wireless accounts.

Today, the Hub's page on Verizon's web site went dark. It is no longer for sale.

It's really a shame. The prototype Hub devices that I saw this past spring were much improved when compared to the original. I am always sad to see a product fail in the market.

So long, Verizon Hub, we barely knew ye.

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