Retailers looking for some product differentiators might want to start exploring placeshifter technology and solutions that tie into it. As a primer, placeshifter technology shatters the multimedia barrier, enabling a source TV to stream signals to a home computer, cell phone and even a remote computer on the other side of the world. A simple setup involves placeshifter hardware and software, and a broadband or Wi-Fi connection. Monsoon’s HAVA Platinum HD and Sling Media’s Slingbox Pro are two products that bridge the multimedia gap. These hardware devices basically take an existing home TV source, digitize it and then stream it live onto a local home
In an attempt to create consistent branding across the board before the iPhone goes on sale, AT&T overnight altered signage, kiosks and point-of-sale materials in over 1800 wireless retail outlets nationwide according to an announcement made Monday. The alterations replace the Cingular logo with AT&T branding, continuing an initiative launched in January. Rather than a response to a lack of brand awareness, this move is being made to encourage awareness that, according to recent research, is higher than expected, having increased by 80 percent since the initial branding campaign began. As the sole wireless provider for the iPhone, to be launched
Used to be New Yorkers would complain about independent nail salons or pseudo-Chinese take-out joints popping up on every block. Then it was the national chains: a new Gap Kids one day, Baby Gap the next. These days, the ubiquitous storefront in Manhattan is likely to feature electronics, and not just suspiciously cheap gray market goods, but the highest-priced cell phones on the market. Call it the mobilization of mobile: Cell phone stores are suddenly everywhere. “So many have opened up around Union Square, it’s like Cell Phone Avenue now,” says John Zittrauer, the manager of a city cell phone store with a slightly
More so than ever, CES 2007 was a celebration of convergence, showcasing everything from TVs to audio/video gear to phones to home control systems that combined new technologies with the ease-of-use and convenience consumers expect of traditional electronics. While manufacturers and vendors trumpeted the latest and greatest features and functions of their new offerings, many also established plans to deepen their dealer programs by rolling out more training and demo units to help smaller dealers understand and sell more sophisticated products. In turn, dealers reacted to the products with a mix of outright enthusiasm and guarded optimism. What follows, is the Dealerscope wrap-up
According to a preliminary analysis by iSuppli, Apple Inc. and Cingular Wireless stand to make a 50 percent gross margin off of the iPhone. Their functional Bill of Materials estimate points to a $245.83 total expense for the 4 GB model which, at a $499 retail price, yields a 50.7 percent margin. The margin only increases for the 8 GB model which, at a $280.83 total expense against a $599 retail price yields a 53.1 percent margin. With such products as the iMac and iPod nano, Apple has seen margins as high as 45 percent. iSuppli forecasts, however, that
On Friday, AT&T announced that they will fold the Cingular name, which they own, into the AT&T brand. The move will be accompanied by a media campaign which will incorporate the Web, television spots, retail stores and signage on company buildings and vehicles. Says Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of AT&T. “AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular are now one company, and going to market with our services under one brand is the right thing to do.” Initially a transition graphic combining both logos will be used in ads and company communications, but this will be replaced, ultimately, by the AT&T logo.
As early adopters save their C-notes and prepare to storm Cingular to acquire the stock-boosting iPhone, phone manufacturers are watching the flurry with a cocked eyebrow, wondering if a public which has demanded smaller and smaller handsets with bigger and bigger rebates is really going to go for a substantially-priced convergent device with smartphone heft. Knowing the market is a large and diverse one (Americans have purchased many more cellphones than iPods, at least for now), phone makers are turning out new takes on previous hits, and the new models (of phones and their bluetooth accesories) are almost all significantly smaller than
Cingular announced Monday a deal with MySpace that will allow users of the wireless service to update their MySpace pages via mobile phone. The deal connects Cingular subscribers with MySpace Mobile software for $2.99 a month. Users can post photos, blogs and profile alterations as well as view or add friends via the mobile service. Helio, a Verizon and Sprint reseller, also offers MySpace Mobile.
The future is looking bright for the unlocked cell phone. Mobile phones in the U.S. typically come with service plans that greatly discount the hardware while locking customers in to a particular provider. A phone you buy through Sprint probably won’t work if you switch to T-Mobile. A new ruling by the Register of Copyrights, however, may make it easier to unlock your phone and make it work with virtually any provider. Every three years, parties can argue for exemptions to the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act. On this years list includes an approved exemption for unlocking cell
Muller Succeeds Jens as Head of Philips North America It is announced that on August 1, the current president of Philips Consumer Electronics, North America, Reinier Jens, will become the new head of the company’s European arm. Olympus Imaging America Executive Vice President Stewart Muller will take over for Jens, joining Philips in June. In a statement issued yesterday, Philips credited Jens with the corporation’s progress in North America and welcomed Muller’s experience, which also encompasses a leadership position at Apple Computer, Inc. Microsoft Offers Tech Support Subscription at Retail At retail stores, Microsoft launches a new subscription-based service package called Windows Live OneCare. For $49.95 a