Introduced in 1959, the initial 700 type telephone used the 300 Type body with a new handset and transmission circuit. However, this was a stopgap until a new plastic body could be developed. The design for the new 706 body is generally considered to stem from the American Bell 500 telephone, but the Automatic Electric AE80 of 1954, see below, is actually much closer in style.
The use of plastic meant that a greater range of colours could be used. The new transmission circuit featured a regulator which adapted the gain to compensate for line length, as the more sensitive earpiece would otherwise have produced excessive loudness on short lines. Another innovation was the now universal curly cord.