March 1, 2001

By Janet PinkertonFree Association: A meditation on the consumer electronics industry. Last month, I wrote "Hey, satellite radio is cool!" It still is. Probably. XM Satellite Radio said STMicroelectronics nailed its much-needed chipsets. Sirius signed Sanyo and Sony as hardware suppliers. Good deal. But I wonder what happens to all of those smart regional retailers who use demographic-specific radio—the jazz stations, the NPR-types, the hipster boomers—for efficient advertising. These demographics for many reasons are likely to buy into satellite radio, Internet radio, satellite video. Globally available, high-quality audio and video media services may create a problem, long term, for the retail marketers, as newspapers lose their

Editorial Index
December 1, 2000

Company Web Site Page# Adobe 34 Amana 36 America Online 34 Apple 16 Compaq 16 Charmed Technology 34 Dell Computers 16 DigiScents 34 Dolby 33 E-Book Systems 34 Electrolux Home Appliances 36 Energizer 35 34 Fedco 35 GE Appliances 36 34 Intel 34 JBRO 35 JVC 16 Marantz 33 Maytag 36 Microsoft 16, 26, 34 34 Nintendo 16 Nokia 16 Onkyo 33 Panasonic 33 Philips 32 RCA 16 Rayovac 35 Sanyo 35

October 1, 2000

Sharp's 15-inch LCD TV Sharp is shipping the LC-15A2U 15-inch, LCD-based television. The 15A2U weighs just over 10 pounds and features a 181-channel cable tuner, component, S-Video and composite inputs and a 200:1 contrast ratio. It retails for $1,299 and comes with a swivel tabletop stand. Wall mounting brackets are optional. Thomson's RCA-Brand eBooks Thomson introduced its RCA-branded eBook line at the New York is Book Country book fair last month. Sold under the RCA brand name and licensed from Gemstar-TV Guide International, the REB1100 and the REB1200 are portable, at 17 ounces and 33 ounces, respectively. Both devices use the Gemstar eBookT

MacWorld New York - Shakes Things Up
September 1, 2000

By David Dritsas Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs' keynote speech at MacWorld New York resembled a fashion show. New iMac colors, G4 configurations, movie-editing software, a retail relationship with Circuit City, the Power Mac G4 Cube—an entirely new product for both the company and the computer industry—all drew excited reactions from the audience. Meanwhile, exhibitors showed some of their latest in a growing product category of Mac peripherals. The show-stopper was Apple's new, fifth product category. The G4 Cube is a compact, 8-inch cube with all the benefits of a G4 desktop tower, including expansion slots for extras, such as sound and graphics cards. The first-level

Circuit City Changing for Gain
August 1, 2000

By Janet Pinkerton RICHMOND, Va.—Never say that Circuit City is afraid to change. Late last month, the retailer stunned the industry by announcing they would exit the appliance business by the end of November to launch a three-year plan to remodel all superstores nationwide in an expanded CE-only format. Discontinuing the sale of appliances allows Circuit City to expand its consumer electronics and home office selections, add more interactive displays and a greater selection of "take-with" merchandise, along with cash registers for easy checkout—remodeling each store at a tune of $2.5 million on average. In the interim, Circuit City will replace the appliances

SOHO Furniture - Gets Seated in Style
February 1, 2000

by Laura Spinale As in the fashion world, where the sartorial splendor displayed on Paris catwalks eventually influences the clothing available at Wal-Mart, the specificity of upscale SOHO furniture winds its way to the mass market. "A consumer needs and wants change as quickly, and as unpredictably, as technology changes," said Dave Messigner, Bush Furniture's senior vice president for sales and marketing. Manufacturers of SOHO furniture now transcend consumers' general technological needs in an attempt to meet the style demands of specific consumer segments. Office Star recently debuted the IM200, an office chair available in bright, vivid colors. The chair was

Raising the Bar...Creating Wealth in CE
February 1, 2000

By Bill Hass Invent a better mousetrap, and people will beat a path to your door! So goes the old saying, and it appears at least partially true in terms of relative wealth creation for manufacturers who supply the consumer electronics products to the U.S. and the world. New technology, with the prospects of tremendous growth, has produced great wealth for some CE suppliers; far in excess of traditional product manufacturers in the more established industries like autos, housing and steel. Dell Computer, Microsoft, Iomega, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer are all familiar names that have produced fortunes from new technologies. Yet new technology invariably is accompanied by

The 2000 Housewares Show - Translucent Niches
January 1, 2000

By Janet Pinkerton Form will meet function at the 2000 International Housewares Show set for January 16-19 in Chicago. The iMac effect has hit even here—with more translucent colors, but in richer colors. Niche markets keep springing up—with planned introductions of compact microwave ovens, countertop glassware dishwashers and wine coolers bound for the mainstream. Here's a company-by-company preview of expected Housewares Show announcements. Avanti will take advantage of its larger Housewares Show booth to display its merchandising, in addition to its Teba convection ovens and new defroster compact refrigerators, including two-door models and a single-door model, and also wine coolers ranging in price

Cable Vendors Embrace The 1394 Connection
August 1, 1999

The high-speed IEEE1394 digital interface, which has the ability to connect all types of consumer electronics to PCs at a transfer rate of up to 4MB per second, is fast being adopted by many leading electronics manufacturers. The IEEE1394 technology was invented by Apple Computer, Inc. The Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE) adopted its as an industry standard in 1995. "It's like a ground swell that's all going to hit at once," said Mike Field, Compaq Consumer Group manager of configure-to-order product marketing, of the public's acceptance of 1394 technology. Although Field could not name specific companies, he told of projects in the works that would

Big Competition in Low Price Points
May 1, 1999

It may be almost summer, and students are just starting to enjoy their long vacation away from studies, but before we know it, it'll be time to start packing lunch boxes again for the little ones and new PCs for the big ones. Now with the price of PC components dropping and students' needs growing, it's likely a computer may become the new standard high school graduation gift. A handful of familiar and unfamiliar brands have emerged in the last year or so, with machines priced less than a spring break at Daytona Beach. Even more earth shaking is the recent emergence of a new