Apparently Altec Lansing actually unveiled its T612 iPhone/iPod speaker dock at CES but in the excitement caused by the bazillion (not a made up number I swear) TVs we managed to miss it. Thankfully, we have now managed to stumble upon it. I say thankfully because as the owner of an iPhone and an older iPod docking speaker set I have been waiting for an iPhone designed version for a long time.
The basic premise is that instead of the message one usually gets when plugging in an iPhone suggesting that the dock is "not compatible with iPhone" and asking you to turn into flight mode users will be able to simply plug in and use the dock. When a phone call comes in you shouldn't get a sudden burst of ear-watering blips and bleeps but instead simple be able to use the T612 as a large hands free set before resuming your music where it left off once the caller hangs up. It sounds a simple task to accomplish but if the PR blurb is to be believed (and as far as any of us here know it should be) Altec Lansing's T612 is the first dock actually capable of doing this.
The party piece is accomplished through the logical method of GSM-shielding the internals of the device to block out the iPhone (or any other phone for that matter) signals - why no-one has apparently thought of this before baffles me. Altec Lansing doesn't specify the speakers used, but we'll be able to test those when we get our T612 in for review, and advises that some older iPod models may not fit as it is designed for the slimmer forms of more recent Apple products. Pricing isn't given for the UK, but with its predecessor, the T602, costing £140 (at the Apple store) we presume a similar price will be attached to the T612.