D&H Intros New CE Products, Awaits Microsoft’s Surface
Annual summer tech show draws 1,000 customers, 130 vendorsJune 22, 2012 By Jeff O’Heir
Companies new to the show included Tely Labs, which showed off its TelyHD Skype video conferencing solution; CODi, a manufacturer of military-grade laptop and tablet cases; Audyssey Labs and its new docking speaker with Apple AirPlay; and Gunnar Optics, a vendor of gaming and computing eyewear. See the accompanying slideshow for more on these and other companies.
Rob Eby, D&H’s vice president of purchasing, noted that one product that was not shown on the floor among the 130 vendors but still managed to create a strong buzz is Microsoft’s Surface. The tablet is not expected to hit the street until later this fall, following the release of Windows 8, and will most likely roll out through Microsoft’s retail stores before they hit CE retailers, Eby said. When it does land, Eby expects the Surface to be a strong competitor against Apple’s iPad and an important differentiator for retailers.
“It’s a beautiful piece that’s cool and exciting,” he said, adding it will integrate well into home entertainment and control solutions. “It gives CE retailers something to play against Apple.”
D&H brought in about 13 new vendors to this year’s show, with several of them appearing in the “Emerging Technology” pavilion. The distributor will continue to add companies and products to that category with a focus on those that help retailers build full solutions for their customers.
“We’re always trying to position the product lines so our CE retailers and computer resellers can present solutions for the home environment,” Eby said.
Independent CE retailers, he said, are in a good position now to capture sales from the struggling big-box merchants and to gain business from e-tailers by providing the product education and demonstration that consumers can’t get online.
“The timing today is perfect for the independents,” he said. “They are the ones who can give consumers the attention they need, which creates repeat customers.”