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Pop goes a new, but familiar looking, mobile phone accessory

Native Union

Pop phone by Native Union

What's old is new again, as a retro handset that looks a lot like something out of "Mad Men" is back, in bold, bright colors to plug into mobile phones as a kitschy, eye-catching accessory.

Native Union's Pop phone, by the French designer David Turpin, debuted in September and has since been seen in the hands of hipsters and celebrities, and post-hipster celebrities, such as Lenny Kravitz

Bauer Griffin

A photo of Lenny Kravitz on a Pop phone, recently shot in New York's SoHo neighborhood

Whether it's capitalizing on fears of radiation and cancer (through continued use of direct-to-ear usage on mobile phones) or on the need to stand apart from the crowd with such a fashion accessory, Native Union might have found something that is both comforting and useful in this device. It retails for $29.90 and is available in eight colors — but the limited edition gold will cost you an extra $30. 

While it's a little weird to bring back something that once anchored you to a base attached to a cord leading to a wall socket, freedom is still yours with the Pop, since it can plug into your cellphone.

When paired with a USB adapter, the handset can also be used for VOIP computer telephone calls (Skype, Google Talk, etc.), so those on laptops or desktops can stop looking like cubicle robots and experience for themselves those days when people craned their necks to go hands-free. The handset, fitted with a 3.5 mm jack, also turns an iPad (or Android tablet or PlayBook, etc.) into a telephone. 

The 3.5mm jack plugs directly into the iPhone, BlackBerry and the latest MacBooks, and there is a one touch button for pick-up/hang-up directly from the handset. Pops also come with a noise-reduction system and a "soft touch finish."

What's going to come back next, giant mobile phones, like this?

Will old-school mobile phones come back, as shown here by Christian Bale in "American Psycho"?

Apparently, Sean Parker still carries one around, as he whips one out for Jimmy Fallon in this video (fast forward to 24:45):

In conversation with Jimmy Fallon at the inaugural NExtWORK technology conference, Sean Parker of Founders Fund discusses his origins in the tech realm.


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