Panasonic to Produce Skype-Compatible Wi-Fi Phone
September 5, 2006

Panasonic is in the process of creating a Wi-Fi phone that will work with the Skype VoIP service. Skype features such as SkypeOut, SkypeIn, Skype Voicemail and call foarding will all be available on this product. The Skype-certified phone is planned for availability in Q4 2006. Panasonic has already released other VoIP products, including the Panasonic KX-TGA575S, a USB adaptor for use with three of their 5.8GHz Digital Expandable Cordless Systems (KX-TG5761S, KX-TG5771S, and KX-TG5776S). The device puts Skype information (contact list, call log, etc.) onto the handset to avoid the need for the user to be in front of

Looking way down the road
September 1, 2006

At 3 a.m. one morning this past summer, a group of still-sleepy, slightly punchy men convened in the deserted parking lot of a 6th Ave. Electronics City store on Route 4 in northern New Jersey. They piled into a huge SUV, filling up three rows of seats, and pulled out well before dawn, beginning a pilgrimage of sorts, a road trip to the mecca of CE e-commerce, Crutchfield, in Charlottesville, Va. “In e-business, there’s Crutchfield, and then there’s everybody else,” says Tom Galanis, 6th Ave.’s Vice President of Operations and the man at the wheel of the SUV that morning. “We wanted to get

Cause Change!
September 1, 2006

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing all of the excuses why business is bad. Here are the reasons I hear most often: The economy is bad. Car sales are down. Gas prices are too high. No one is coming in the store. We don’t have the right products. You can control some problems, but many you cannot. Stop spending your time worrying about the economy, car sales and gas prices. You can’t do anything about this stuff! Start worrying about your internal problems. But don’t just worry about them—do something about them. If you wait for things to get better,

Need Power? Black and Decker Has Got Your Back
August 31, 2006

Black and Decker’s new Electromate 400 seems like it can handle just about any emergency (or inconvenience) you’ll run into that has to do with power. Essentially a portable AC/DC power supply, the Electromate can also jump-start your car or inflate your tires. The device comes equipped with 450 amps of jump-starting power and an emergency work light if that jump-start happens to take place at night. Two 120 Volt AC outlets can power camcorders, laptops or just about anything else you’ve brought along for the ride. Two 12 Volt DC outlets fit the bill for cell phones, car vacs

Parrot Car Kits Make It into Three Major Retailers
August 30, 2006

Wireless Giant, Abt Electronics and Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. have all begun carrying Parrot Bluetooth hands-free car kits. The kits allow for hands-free operation of cell phones in cars via voice recognition and Bluetooth technology. Wireless Giant will begin by carrying Parrot’s full line of car kits and will move on to add Parrot’s non-automotive products, such as the Parrot Photo Viewer, as well. Abt will carry the Parrot CK3000, CK3100 and 3200 LS-Color kits as will Tweeter, who will display these kits in their stores. Abt and Tweeter will do in-store installations, while InstallerNet will handle installations for

Dealer Data: Phone Sales Grow 18 Percent—Sort of
August 29, 2006

A recent look at the second quarter by research firm Gartner Group revealed that, worldwide, times are looking good for the mobile phone market. The group reported that sales totaled 229 million units in the second quarter of 2006, a 18.3 percent increase from the same period last year, representing a 23.8 percent increase in the first quarter. Gartner forecasts a unit total of 960 million in 2006, with 238 million units in the third quarter. But, to use a bad pun, it may be time to “hold the phone.” This growth may not be seen as strongly by U.S. retailers. Carolina Milanesi, principal

More Details About Nokia/Siemens Merger Revealed
August 28, 2006

Nokia and Siemens announced Friday the staffing of the business unit and regional leadership of their new company, Nokia Siemens Networks, set to launch in January 2007. Having already announced positions such as CEO, COO, CMO and CFO, the companies went on last week to name specific business unit leaders including Jose Costa e Silva for Services, Ari Lehtoratna for Radio Access, Christian Unterberger for Service Core and Applictions, Christian Fredrikson for Operation Support Systems, Martin Lust for Broadband Access and Bernd Schumacher for IP Networking and Transport. Regional leaders include Mark Louison for North America, Fernando Terni for Latin America, Zhiqiang

D-Link Gets Sweet on Vonage
August 24, 2006

It’s a marriage that’s been happening quite a bit in the IT portion of the CE space — an IP telephony and a networking company … well … networking. The latest is partnership between Vonage and D-Link. The two companies announced a new router, called the VWR, that includes two phone ports and support for Vonage’s internet telephony service. The VWR works much like many other wireless routers, with B/G WiFi, as well as 4 ports for connecting other Ethernet devices and a port for connecting a cable or DSL modem. But also inside is Texas Instruments’ TNETV1060 VoIP gateway chipset. The two telephone ports allow

TomTom’s New Navigator
August 18, 2006

TomTom just launched its newest navigator, the TomTom ONE. This tiny, GPS navigator is one of the smallest yet at dimensions of 3.8 inches x 3.2 inches x 1.0 inch and weight of 5.6 ounces. The LCD screen is touch activated and the device has access to all TomTom PLUS services including real-time traffic and weather reports and updates on road conditions. It also features TomTom HOME, a software package that manages content between a PC or MAC and the TomTom device, loading planned routes, download voice instructions and maps. The product will be available in late August 2006 and will retail for $499.

Verizon Enters DVR Market
August 16, 2006

On Monday, Verizion introduced a DVR to accompany its fiber-optic cable service, FiOS. The DVR comes in two varieties, standard and Multi-Room, which can send recorded content to up to three televisions in a household. Verizon has also launched Media Manager, a software which works with either DVR to send content from a networked PC (using FiOS Internet service) to a television. The product launch is a part of Verizon’s larger FiOS initiative to compete with other media providers such as Comcast through a network of fiber-optic cable that will ultimately replace their current copper cable network. Verizon estimates this