Viseon, Vonage Video Phone Manufacturer, Bites the Dust

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Viseon, Vonage Video Phone Manufacturer, Bites the Dust

Vonage Viseon Video Phone No moreViseon Media, a video phone manufacturer, has apparently bitten the dust. Vonage was supposed to offer Viseon's VisiFone (image right) to their subscribers to compete with Packet8 which was first to market with a VoIP videophone. Obviously, Vonage decided to OEM from Viseon rather than develop their own video phone.  Now, people that signed up with Vonage  hoping to at some point upgrade to a videphone will have to wait till Vonage signs up another OEM video phone partner. I wonder if Vonage pre-paid for any of the Viseon videophones and was left holding the bag?

Funny, I saw the early warning signs a couple of years ago when Viseon kept promising they'd send me a review unit and it never arrived. I started to think the whole thing was vaporware. Let's recap, shall we?

December 2005, I wrote, What's wrong with Vonage? Oh let me count the ways...
Excerpt:
First, they've been promising the Viseon video phone for I about a year and it's still hard if not impossible to get. In fact, I checked my trusty email archives and found this email dated December 4, 2004 - "Vonage(R) Announces Partnership with Viseon to Develop Videophone Service". Ok, you announced the partnership in 2004 and it's almost 2006? C'mon already!

On September 30th of this year, I emailed a "certain" PR firm that invited me to check out the Viseon's videophone called the VisiFone. She wrote me saying, "We invite you to be one of the first editors to check out Viseon’s VisiFone, the first Digital Home Telephone for broadband. If you are interested, we will send you a set of two VisiFones. The trial VisiFone will come preloaded with a Vonage/Sipphone.com test account, a Quick start guide, and tech support for assistance." Sure, I said - send me the two VisiFone review units. I waited and I waited and yep, I'm still waiting. Nothing in the mail. Rich Tehrani also emailed her and also didn't hear back. If both Rich and I, two well-known VoIP journalists can't get our hands on the Viseon VisiFone, then who can?

October 2006, I wrote:
"What would be cool is if content providers can push video content to this video screen. Which reminds me that ViseonMedia, a subsidiary of Viseon, Inc. a provider of TV-quality content to their VisiFone Multimedia digital home telephone was supposed to send me a review unit. I've been hearing this product is largely vaporware, yet I have a press release from them stating they signed up the Fox News Channel and Discovery Networks, as part of a U.S. VisiFone consumer pilot that was slated for late 2005. I haven't heard much from them, so I'm going to have to look into that some more.

November 14, 2006 (today)
I received an email from a lawyer asking me if I ever received my Viseon phone because they are pursuing a case against Viseon on behalf of their common shareholders. This sparked my interest to see what was indeed going on. If you go to Viseon's two website domains (www.viseonmedia.com and www.viseon.com) you'll see neither one works. I used Google's cache to view the website and get to the Contact Us page to find the phone number. I then dialed the phone number and it says the number cannot be completed as dialed. The latest cached page I can find is October 1st, 2007, so Viseon could have gone under a few weeks ago, but strangely nothing on Google News or the news wires. I do see that on 06/22/2007 Viseon Inc. was deleted from the OTC Bulletin Board effective June 25, 2007 on account of its failure to comply with NASD 6530 and its Primary Exchange Listing changed to OTCUS from OTCBB.

They must have "limped" along for the past few months and finally gave way around early October - going by the Google cache date anyway. After all, no company still afloat would drop their website(s).

This is great news for Packet8 since they are now the only large residential VoIP player offering a videophone. Vonage? Not so much.


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