When I was a kid, the Swedish telecom company LM Ericsson had since way back designed and introduced maybe one of the best and most beautiful phones ever designed: the Kobra telephone. Or with english spelling “Cobra phone”. The original design had more rounded shapes, and the newer following design of the new Kobra Phone (Kobratelefonen in Swedish) had a slightly more edged corners. Still some round in it, but more square to it. That didnt fall well to my taste, design wise, as much as the original Cobra phone did. And still does. See pictures attached.
The Cobra telephone you lift and turn and dial underneath the bottom. It don´t way tons. It was and still is quite lightweight if you would find any still around. Well balanced. The red coloured one is still my personal favorite. At home we had the phone with the swirling calling system, and as is seen in the pictures it also came with push buttons.
Todays mobile feature phones and smartphones have their forte and strong sides, but just imagine that, despite you having to pay tons of money for a smartphone of today, the cobra if hooked up to the phone socket in the wall today, would still work just fine. While a smartphone would´nt necessarily have stand the tide of time at all. Todays phones brake down way too soon and too early in their life span. Quite ridiculous really. And one can not entirely blame the high tech involved. For example the Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5 have a plastic shell that gets easily scratched and easily crack and shattered to pieces if dropped. The Apple iphones up until at least 5, have a glass that cracks for almost anything. The sturdiest smartphones when dropped are still the Nokia Lumia´s. The Cobra phone is´nt undestructable, but it does stay intact WAY longer than any of todays phones.
And when the Cobra Phone was designed, the technical illustrations and modules and what have you, where all hand drawn and painted. No computers involved. It was all hand crafted just up to the molding in the factories.
From a personal viewpoint and being Swedish, its a shame LM Ericsson does´nt manufacture, invent and sell phones anymore. When it sold its half of the mobile devision to Sony, it was the end of an increadible era. Ericsson as a company is still around, and into communication, but it just aint making phones anymore. To me it´s like half their soul was sold.
Life moves on, and its true that very seldom does a company even excist after 10 years, let alone 100 years.
Enjoy the great design of the old swedish Cobra telephone “Kobratelefonen”. Its a beauty to look at and its eqaully nice to hold in your hand and call and talk with. It´s perfect. Try it if you find one.
Technical illustrator and illustrator of all sorts of illustrations, and artist and graphic designer.