Smartphones

Kudos to Visteon and Clarion from J.D. Power and Associates
August 8, 2006

J.D. Powers and Assoicates 2006 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study has rated Visteon Corporation and Clarion Corporation of America as the highest quality vehicle multimedia system suppliers. 28 different combinations of AM/FM, cassette player, single CD player, multiple CD changer, navigation system and satellite radio were rated based on owner experience. Visteon rated highest in the AM/FM/Single CD Changer segment while Clarion scored highest in the AM/FM/Multi-CD Changer segment. Alpine and Fujitsu Ten followed Visteon and Clarion respectively in the rankings. The study also looked at customer dissatisfaction, noting that design issues, rather than malfunctions, ranked highest in frustrating the

Alpine Gets Mid-Atlantic Representation
August 3, 2006

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. has signed Focused Marketing Solutions to be their sales representation in Delaware, East Pennsylvania, South New Jersey, Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. Focused Marketing Solutions company principal Dominick Butta will manage the northern half of the territory, with sales team member Tony Brown handling the southern half. The office manager will be Danny Nardini. Says Butta, “Focused Marketing Solutions looks forward to working in unison with Alpine to become the expert on their products and philosophies for the retailers in the mid-Atlantic area.” In June, Alpine added Velocity Sales and Marketing as a sales rep in Illinois

DealerData: The Numbers That Shape CE
August 1, 2006

Every year Forrester Research conducts its North American Consumer Technology Adoption Study Benchmark Survey, the 2006 version of which, it just released. This survey of 66,707 US and Canadian households looks at how consumers use technology and how that has altered over the past few years. Not surprisingly, broadband Internet and portable electronics are gaining strength and more and more consumers are looking to the Web for shopping. Some findings from the study: Forty-one percent of North American households now have broadband Internet access at home -- up from 29 percent at the end of 2004. Seventy-five percent of North American households have mobile phones, and almost

Verizon, LG Give Customers Taste of “Chocolate”
August 1, 2006

Verizon’s latest offering via LG is Chocolate, a new slider-style phone which boasts V CAST functionality along with VZ Navigator technology. The phone’s award-winning design houses the ability to use Verizon’s V CAST service to download and play music and video, as well as a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, a microSD slot that supports SanDisk 2GB cards and turn-by-turn directions to most U.S. addresses from VZ Navigator. John Stratton, Verizon Wireless vice president and chief marketing officer, proclaims, “In a world where quality wireless service is a table-stake, Chocolate sets a new standard for wireless handsets.” Chocolate is available now from

Garmin to Open Retail Outlet in Chicago
August 1, 2006

Garmin International Inc. announced plans Monday to open a retail store on Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” on Michigan Avenue, home to 3.3 million square feet of retail space. The store, which should be open in time for the 2006 holiday season, will showcase Garmin GPS navigation tools and give customers access to product demonstrations, interactive kiosks, training, seminars and product support. The Garmin retail network will also use this space for meetings and training. Dr. Min Kao, Garmin’s chairman and CEO, explains, “We want to use this location as a destination to excite and energize our customers, generate buzz, and further propel

SanDisk Introduces Largest Capacity microSD Card
August 1, 2006

SanDisk Corporation unveiled their new 2GB microSD card designed especially for use in mobile phones with an eye toward MP3 storage. The card is being cross-promoted with Verizon’s new LG Chocolate phone, with which the card is compatible. The card will, in fact, only be available in the U.S. at 1,900 Verizon stores for the first sixty days of its release. The card, however, is not exclusively compatible with the new phones, and comes with an adapter that allows it to fit into any standard SD slot. Says Patrick Bucci, Verizon Wireless director of accessory products, “Offering our customers removable

LG Summer Product Party
July 31, 2006

“We launched the LG consumer electronics brand in the US in 2003 and we’ve come a long way together” opened LG’s VP of sales Bob Perry at LG’s summer line show in New York City. The company wanted to add a little celebrity glitz to it’s product showcase by holding it in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, which was adorned with the wax likenesses of Ozzy Osborn, Julia Roberts, Paris Hilton and Branjoulina, plus live celebrity impersonators. “With all this growth, let me assure you, we remain a humble company,” continued Perry. “Everyday we create products that are designed to meet the needs and satisfy

Audistry: Dolby’s package plan for personal audio processing
July 31, 2006

Dolby Laboratories, since the day it introduced its revolutionary noise-reduction technology for tape, has promoted the faithful reproduction of audio recordings. Its newest product suite, Audistry by Dolby, takes the leap from “faithful” to “personal,” explains Chris Bennett, vice president and general manager for Dolby in Australia, where its recently acquired Audistry division is based. The first product with Audistry by Dolby, Sharp’s 1-bit SD-SP10 surround/subwoofer system ($350), has already debuted, and Dolby is touting the technology among other potential licensees for product categories where size may otherwise limit sonic performance -- namely, MP3 audio players, mobile phones, 2.1- or 3.1-channel home A/V

NEC, Matsushita and Panasonic Unite for Mobile Handset Initiative
July 31, 2006

NEC Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. announced Thursday their intention to form a joint venture to develop mobile handsets. The new company, which will be formed in early October and has yet to be named, will focus on not only developing the handsets, but on a common software and hardware platform as well. Part of the intent of the arrangement is to avoid duplication of effort by the companies as they seek to create similar products and services, enhancing existing ties between NEC and Panasonic Mobile. NEC, Matsushita and Panasonic have been collaborating on

TiVo and BellSouth Partner Up
July 28, 2006

TiVo and BellSouth will join forces to co-market TiVo Series2 and BellSouth FastAccess DSL beginning this week. Both companies are hoping to reach additional consumers through the partnership and will offer select FastAccess DSL subscribers special pricing on the TiVo box and service. Combining high-speed Internet with TiVo’s broadband applications, these DSL subscribers can have access to online scheduling, TiVo ToGo transfers, TiVo Guru Guide recommendations, streaming radio and movie browsing. Also offered are TiVo’s Home Media features, which allow subscribers to use their television for broadband delivered video and enjoying personal music and photos. KidZone with features to find, record and watch child-friendly