While companies like Apple and LG are working on putting laptop-style features into a pocket-sized device, British company Burnside Telecom is going the other direction with a new enterprise-oriented desktop phone incorporating GSM features.
Rather than greater mobility, Burnside is selling the P350 partly on the fact that it's less portable than the usual GSM handset - meaning it's fixed, permanent, can be used by anyone in the office and isn't easily mislaid.
GSM hasn't so far made much headway in replacing the standard PBX, but the P350 at least includes the features companies would need in a GSM desktop phone. It can use a network's Explicit Call Transfer feature to act as a mobile extension on a network or PBX, and supports headsets from the likes of Plantronics and Jabra, as well as external call recording devices.
Support for Microsoft's telephone application programming interface allows interaction with CRM applications such as Goldmine, ACT, Maximizer and Microsoft CRM, according to Burnside. Users can compose SMS messages on the phone and or can send text messages via Outlook on a connected PC.
The company promises that the fact that the phone uses an external magnetic-base aerial, means users will absorb significantly less radiation from the P350 compared to a standard mobile. Future versions will connect to EDGE and 3G networks.
Companies looking at GSM also, of course, have options such as connecting the PBX to a Premicell, which can route calls over a wireless network to, for instance, save on the steep costs of outgoing calls to mobile phones.
The advantage of a handset such as the P350, according to Burnside director David Robson, is that it has a number of enterprise features lacking in standard mobile handsets while being completely portable and not requiring wired telephone infrastructure.
That could make it useful for venues where landlines are expensive or unfeasible, such as temporary offices, exhibitions, open-air events, outside broadcasting facilities or other remote locations, Robson said.
Such specialised uses are easier to imagine than the use of the P350 in a standard office, particularly given its steep £199 price tag, though this could presumably be reduced through a contract with a network operator.
Burnside said the phone is compatible with standard GSM femtocells, which are gaining some popularity for home and office use for converging fixed and mobile networks.