Portable speakers were once an accessory afterthought. Audio fidelity was hardly a priority and one was lucky if the volume levels could fill a bathroom. But a new generation of Bluetooth speakers now offers vastly improved sound quality and features that will appeal to 20-something smartphone addicts and grizzled road warriors.
In the last couple of months I’ve gone to two different events where new products were introduced. Both the CE Line Shows in New York and the Levin Consulting Group Electronics Retail Summit in Las Vegas might well have been called Headphone and iAccessory shows. I’ve seen hundreds of cellphone and tablet covers and dozens of headphones, many of which rival those made by Bose, which for decades had a corner on the high-end market.
In the last couple of months I've gone to two different events where new products were introduced. Both the CE Line Show in New York and the Levin ConsultingGroup Electronics Retail Summit in Las Vegas might well have been called Headphone and iAccessory shows. I've seen hundreds of cellphone and tablet covers and dozens of headphones, many of which rival those made by Bose that for decades had a corner on the high-end market.
The introduction in recent years of fashionable and feature-packed headphones has led a market growth of more than $2 billion in sales. Walk down any city street and you'll see that the ubiquitous white earbuds are being replaced by a variety of phones in different styles and price points, especially those at the higher end of the scale. According to NPD, in 2011 sales of headphones priced over $100 doubled from the previous year, well ahead of growth in the category.
No one wants to be tied down when they’re using a smart phone or tablet, even when they’re playing music on it. But there’s no reason for your customers to worry, thanks to a growing roster of wireless speakers on the market that will help them cut the cables.
Portable speakers were once an accessory afterthought. Audio fidelity was hardly a priority and one was lucky if the volume levels could fill a bathroom. But a new generation of Bluetooth speakers now offers vastly improved sound quality and features that will appeal to 20-something smart phone addicts and grizzled road warriors.
The way Michael Perlman sees it, there probably has never been a worse time to be a traditional consumer electronics retailer: A relentlessly bad economy has battered sales and beaten back consumer confidence; anyone can find just about anything cheaper on the Internet (and, in most cases, skip the state sales tax while doing so); the general CE industry has practically handed customers over to Apple. The list goes on.
A soon-to-be published consumer survey from IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc.) has ranked those audio brands most likely to influence consumers' new car buying habits. Surveying 2,250 consumers across the U.S., the U.K. and Germany, IMS Research can reveal that the five brands most likely to influence consumer attitude to new car purchase are (in alphabetical order): Bang and Olufsen, Blaupunkt, Bose, Pioneer and Sony. Nimisha Patel, market analyst, comments: "What is most surprising is not the brands in the top five, but the ranking and difference in influence
After I got my first iPhone in 2008, on my way to a family work-cation in Cabo, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. If, indeed, “heaven” is the ability to combine work and recreation into an unending stream of urgent emails and up-to-the-minute restaurant reviews.
Harman International Industries Inc said it will not be affected by Apple Inc's plans to offer voice activated real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation in cars.
"A car has a seven-year life cycle while a phone lasts for 14 months or 18 months, so no car would integrate a complete phone-based application," Chief Executive Dinesh Paliwal told Reuters.
He said luxury cars - a market that Harman mainly caters to - will always come with embedded infotainment systems, which can then be paired with smartphones.
With more technology being shoved into the dashboard of cars, drivers are being bombarded with information. So automakers and suppliers are trying to figure out the best way to manage this growing sensory overload so drivers don't become distracted, say, by their Facebook feeds on an in-dash display.
For its part, Garmin plans to employ some of the same display and interface technology it supplies to airplane pilots in cars. The company, which provides navigation systems to several automakers and recently unveiled its first complete in-dash infotainment system for Suzuki vehicles