The Verizon Hub has been Discontinued

Dave Zatz —  September 29, 2009 — 16 Comments

Mari and I have been following the Verizon Hub, from its pre-release iterations through the product that ultimately shipped in February of this year. And I’m sad to say that Verizon has decided to pull the plug. The Hub was designed to be both an Internet-connected widget station and serve as the household VoIP hub with a bit of PIM functionality thrown in to sweeten the deal. It probably wasn’t the meh resistive touch screen that did it in but, rather and as I predicted, a failure of marketing and pricing. Requiring the Hub to be purchased solely via Verizon Wireless at $200 plus $35/month with a two year contract is pretty steep barrier to entry when introducing a new product category to the mainstream.

I only know one person who picked up the Hub and it was fascinating to observe his initial excitement morph into disgust after experiencing months of issues – some technical, but most related to his account, billing, and phone number. So Verizon’s staff may not have been fully trained in supporting this device. (He ultimately managed to unwind it all and ended up back on Verizon’s typical VoIP service using his own handsets.) While the Hub is no longer being sold and has been scrubbed from Verizon’s web site, a PR rep informed me today that existing customers and contracts will be honored.

I do think there’s room on many of our kitchen counters for this sort of device. So I hope to see Verizon give it another go with a more robust platform and a better marketing/deployment strategy in the not-so-distant future. If not, one could just pick up a net-top.

(Thanks for the tip, Dave M!)

16 responses to The Verizon Hub has been Discontinued

  1. “sad to say”? cmon dave, no you aren’t… this was a mediocre idea at best to begin with, that they most likely did poorly. the bar is just too high for products like these to come out anything but awesomely. which i personally doubt VZ can pull off independently…

  2. Mari and I have seen a few iterations of the Hub (even before it was called the Hub) at Verizon HQ over the years and are fans of converged devices. She was more hopeful than I, but I can’t say I’m ever happy to see a product or company die.

    Also, this isn’t an independent Verizon development – check out OpenPeak directly or the press release that lays out the relationship. Unfortunately, the device probably tries to do much, making it too hard to explain to consumers. Plus that complex pricing and purchasing/support from Verizon’s Wireless division did it in: “Replace your land line with our broadband phone. You don’t need Verizon broadband, but you will need Verizon Wireless.” Huh?

    Widgetized photo frames or iPhones with kitchen speaker docks are probably the way to go. I’m also ready for a new Chumby in a new form factor, but not this one.

  3. They lost me at $35. I would have paid 200 for an internet connected gadget enabled phone. But no way at $35/mo too.

  4. @Dave: Thanks for the Open Peak link. Looks great.

    @Brandon: I agree, the monthly fee would have been where I’d stop being interested.

  5. Such a shame to see this so poorly executed. Somebody is going to do this the right way eventually. How come it’s taking so long?

  6. Not at all surprised, Verizon had a predecessor called Verizon-One-Central, also an expensive phone. They left the consumers with without the advertised support after 1 year.

  7. I think the idea is great, just needs a company to actually, ya know, stand behind it for more than a few months.

  8. I have one and we love it….bummed anout them taking it off of the market. Never a prob and the $35 was less that the old AT&T bill so that was not a prob either. I you have to have one to love it.

  9. Could you comment about AT&T HomeManager which is like this Hub?

  10. Problem isn’t the Hub but who was offering it. This would have been killer had it been offered as part of my Verizon Fios 3 pack instead of the less than mediocre phone line they gave me but as a $35 option through a wireless carrier it was a no go. This thing needs to serve as a main phone line which means 24 hour support and with Verizon Wireless closing at 11pm……well you get the picture. I just don’t see them as ready for this sort of thing nor should they need to be. They already have a company that knows how to do it and that arm probably would have done a much better job of marketing it seriously instead of smirking about it everytime someone asked a question about what it was and how it worked.

  11. I was notified by Verizon Wireless today that I would still be subject to a $150 discontinuation for pulling the plug on the Hub (Oct. 8, 2009) even while Verizon discontinued the Hub in September.

    Thanks, Verizon. The phone was worthless. Where do I begin? The USB never worked, the contact list was limiting in that I could only upload 200 or so from my Outlook contacts list, photos from messages could not be transferred at all from the Hub to my PC, and the Internet connection with Time Warner was erratic at best. I had to constantly reboot the Hub just to get it to work. Bad buy on my part. Verizon has lost me. Hello AT&T and the iPhone – the hands down winner.

  12. The HUB was just advertized in the middle of Sunday Night Football! Nov 15, 2009.. Pats and Colts game. If it si discontinued, why spend the big bucks for a spot? And if you want to know if it work??… “Verizon Hub ” is the number 1 search on Google in the past 2 hrs! (its 1230am now. yep Colts won! dan in Indaina

  13. dude, the Hub was discontinued. No doubt about it. Confirmed by Verizon and the product page was removed from their site. Someone f-ed up and provided the wrong ad last night. A very costly mistake… HOWEVER, I do hear whispers of another model in the works. Hopefully it will NOT be tied to a Verizon Wireless contract.

  14. Verizon had one before this called the Verizon One. same concept same functionality but no monthly charge. All you needed was a DSL line they refused to push it into the FiOS world and then came up with this brain dead idea for Wireless and it flopped. I wanted it so bad until i went to the store and on top of the $35 a month you had to add $9 for an additional line. The Verizon One had same bells and whistles but i guess lost out. I heard they were going to add a remote controle feature to the hand set too for the FiOS TV customers who had it. Too bad they got gready it was nice while it lasted

  15. Im stuck with this turkey and whennn i cancelled my service the pjone wont work with either a wireless or DSL modem. And verizon has the Chutzpah to block what should be open access to Volp Boo

  16. Im so pissed! I paid about 250 bucks for this phone. I liked the phone alot. The only problems I had was with the directories sometimes (maybe 3 or 4 times). Now they switched to Home Phone Connect. The HUB cant be used at all. Im mean nothing cant make calls, cant get calls, and cant get voice mail. I had no idea something like this could happen. I felt it was just a phone kind of. You want to get rid off all the perks of having the phone FINE! As long as you can make calls and receive them and also get voice mail I would be so mad. So basically this HUB is no just trash. I will hold on to it though. Maybe in 50 years it will be a collectors item lol.

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