I've been doing some back-of-the-napkin number crunching about whether or not it makes business sense to buy a Vonage V-Phone.
That's the much-ballyhooed, soon-to-be-much woo-hoo-hoo'd, memory-stick type device that Vonage is debuting today. You pay $40 list, or less via promotions, and you get a gizmo pre-configured with Vonage software.
When you insert the V-Phone into your desktop or notebook, that activates the Vonage software on your machine. The appeal is supposed to be for business travelers, who can now take their Vonage number with them.
I see the appeal as even more limited than niche. Last time I checked, every business traveler in the known universe traveled with a cell phone. Maybe two- i.e. cell and cell-capable PDA. And he/she is probably already on a calling plan.
So why bother schlepping along a V-Phone? Sure, you might want to return calls placed to your Vonage number, but you can go in to the Vonage dashboard from the Vonage website, pull those numbers down, and then call them from your cell, no?
As a road warrior who likes to tinker, and as someone with two Vonage accounts, I am tempted to do a mash-up: see how/if the V-Phone works with my SprintNextel EV-DO-enabled notebook. Or, maybe I'll see how the V-Phone works over Wi-Fi from my hotel or the local outlet of that international coffee conglomerate I'd rather not name.
But see, I get paid to do this stuff, and write about it afterwards. But is the traveling pharmaceutical salesperson- who has her mind on 500 other things- gonna play nerd like me in her spare moments on the road?
Maybe she just picks up her cell and dials the number?