The Ericofon 700 was the world's first completely electronic one-piece
When Ericsson turned 100 in 1976, it celebrated by unveiling, among other
things, a new telephone, the Ericofon 700. It was an upgraded version of the famous
"A commemorative series of 325 telephones with guilded casing were
manufactured for the 100th anniversary in Stockholm and were given to prominent
guests," recounts Stellan Andersson at Ericsson in Karlskrona, who was the production
manager for the project.
The Ericofon 700 had a more sober design than its famous predecessor, and
was the world's first completely electronic one-piece push-button telephone. Well-known
Swedish designer, Karl-Arne Breger, designed the phone.
"It was a very prestigious assignment," he says.
"Technically it was not difficult, but perhaps psychologically."
"The 'cobra,' with its rounded shape, was seen as the pinnacle of
chic. How could it be made any better? In addition, they asked me to change the design so
that it wasn't noticable!"
The Ericofon 700 was both smaller and lighter than its predecessor. Even
by today's standards, one must admit that it has a modern and almost timeless shape. The
colors were white, blue, orange and green. The possibilities afforded by electronics were
utilized to their full extent. The telephone only had push-buttons, but it came with
rotary or touch-tone service. In other words, it could be used on the same line as other
rotary telephones, which still dominated the market at the time. Instead of a carbon
particle microphone, the Ericofon 700 had an electret type condenser microphone which,
according to advertisements, produced hi-fi sound.
It was not a market success, however. Only 30,000 Ericofon 700s were
manufactured through 1984.