Author Topic: End of the Trimline?  (Read 490 times)

Offline Stormcrash

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End of the Trimline?
« on: November 26, 2018, 12:18:00 AM »
While the phones themselves might not be classic the design certainly is.  I've noticed some worrying signs over the course of the year that could be signalling the coming of the classic Trimline 210 model.  The telephone hasn't been listed on the AT&T telephones website for a while now https://telephones.att.com/telephones/corded-telephones/all

Further prices of the 210 have started fluctuating on Amazon.  https://www.amazon.com/AT-Trimline-Corded-Required-Wall-Mountable/dp/B00005MITU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543208550&sr=8-1&keywords=trimline&th=1
Where they were previously $9.99 prices now seem to swing between $10 and $15, with the Black model usually (but not always) priced higher.  Other websites like Best Buy or Staples generally only have the White model with prices slightly higher than Amazon.  It seems like stocks might be dwindling, with the Black model running lower than White.

If the end is indeed near then it will be a sad farewell to a classic Dreyfuss design.  As a child of the 90's the Trimline holds a fond place in my mind as it seemed like positively everyone had one in their kitchen, though post breakup AT&T brand versions.  The Trimline name would continue on via the Caller ID equipped 1909 but the have no design DNA in common with the 210.  The quality may be long gone but it seems the end of an era, the last Bell System design still produced under the AT&T banner (I know VTech owns it now via the Advanced American Telephones subsidiary they bought from Lucent).  I don't think Avaya produces 2500 phones anymore so it could very well be the last WE design produced by any Bell descendant.

Offline Stormcrash

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Re: End of the Trimline?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2019, 10:56:34 PM »
Looks like the end is indeed coming. Amazon no longer shows stock of it's own for the White 210, and the black one has unstable pricing.  Futher, the 1909 Caller ID Trimline is no longer listed on telephones.att.com and several other corded model phones have disappeared as well.  Seems Advanced American Telephones is clearing house on corded or underselling models.  Though with the deal to license the AT&T name expiring in 2020 I wonder if AT&T has decided not to renew and VTech/AAT are discontinuing some models in preparation for switching solely to the VTech name?

Offline 19and41

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Re: End of the Trimline?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 03:10:41 PM »
Thanks for making note of the milestone.  It's the inevitable passage from commercial to collectible.  I can remember when they were introduced, they had such a futuristic design.  It's the first phone I got with my phone service not long before the AT&T breakup.  I bought mine not long after that.  I still have it.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline cchaven

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Re: End of the Trimline?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 10:59:27 PM »
I guess with so many people ditching landlines, it was bound to happen.  It was a long run though.  I'm 54 and we always had a Trimline in/near the kitchen when I was growing up.  I still have a blue AT&T Trimline that has served as my own kitchen phone for 30 years.  It's base carries a date of 5/22/88 and see's daily use.  I've always found it interesting that it still has a "For Service Call" number on the bottom of it.  Despite having a cordless plugged up as well, I've kept the Trimline in use for emergencies.  Verizon has let the batteries die on the line at times but the Trimline has never had a problem.

Offline Stormcrash

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Re: End of the Trimline?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 09:45:28 PM »
But wait, an unexpected plot twist in the story! The Trimline 210M has reappeared in the corded phones section of telephones.att.com in both black and white. Amazon.com now has it back in stock as well with the seller being VTech (who own Advanced American Telephones)

I have no idea why they would seemingly discontinue several corded models including the Trimline 210, Trimline 1909, and CL 2909 speakerphone (of which Vtech now has a very similar looking model at Walmart) and let the supply pipeline nearly completely drain of old stock, only to months later suddenly reintroduce the 210. But that seems to have happened, so for now it looks like the last classic Bell design to bear the AT&T name will get to live on.

And for reference here's the CL 2909 and the new VTech phone that's almost identical