Spring Audio Capitalizing on the Web
The FW-i1000 will be available this August for a suggested retail price of $499. Since CES, Philips has realized the problem that most broadband users only possess a single connection, and that that connection is tied to a PC. The sale of a broadband router is inevitable in most situations. Thus, the company has entered a cross-promotional marketing partnership with NetGear, a company that specializes in consumer-level DSL and cable modem routers and related products. Although there is no guarantee that both companies' products will be sold by the same retailer, both companies will be promoting each other's products in their own promotional literature.
Philips will also be making a new introduction in the personal audio space, with a new player that will playback 8cm CDs, which will mostly be offered in the form of CD-R. Like Philips' line of Expanium players, MP3 files copied to the CD-R can be played back in this player. Philips said that when it came to MP3, CD players that played back MP3 were by far outselling the company's Rush line of portable digital audio players that rely on solid state memory, which is still at an astronomical price when compared price per MB (megabyte) against CD-R and CD-RW.
Philips is targeting the 8cm player to a younger market and the athletic market of users who want a smaller sized player with which to exercise. It will release the player this September for under $200. Although specific media provider an-nouncements have not been made, the expected price per disc is expected to be somewhere around $1. Philips says it will be the first to introduce this kind of player, although earlier in May Compaq Computer Corp. showed a prototype of a similar device that it intends to market, although it did not release details on timing.