Dial M for Money

Telephone makers plug into profits with an array of new products.

Like the bathtub, a telephone can be found in nearly every American home, and, until now, it has been equally taken for granted. Yet, all of a sudden, consumers are being urged to jettison their old view of the phone as a utilitarian item and look at it as a fancy new entry on a shopping list. Local Bell System companies, as well as AT&T's brand-new baby, American Bell Inc., are beseeching customers to buy telephones instead of leasing them, and even to plug more of them into their homes. Department,...

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