By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Berwyn, Pa.— AT&T Wireless affiliate Triton PCS has begun offering Danger's hip-top wireless-data phone, a QWERTY-keyboard-equipped phone with Web browsing, e-mail, AOL IM, PIM functions and optional digital camera. T-Mobile already offers the device. Triton markets under the SunCom brand in 37 Southeastern cities. Markets with hip-top include Norfolk, Richmond and Fredericksburg, Va. A June rollout is planned in the South Carolina cities of Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort, Hilton Head and Fayetteville, as well as Savannah, Ga. Other Virginia markets will carry it by early summer.
Cedar Knolls, N.J. — Cellular carriers might view Bluetooth as an important element in driving 2.5G and 3G-network usage, but don't tell that to market research company Probe Group. "Bluetooth is hobbled by several factors, such as complex and technical device set-up and incompatibilities between devices that should otherwise work together," said research director David Chamberlain. "The industry's inability to force standardization and resolve concerns about compatibility among devices may be the greatest challenge to the widespread adoption of Bluetooth."
Kansas City, Mo.— Sprint PCS plans a late second-quarter launch of the country's first CDMA phone with integrated Bluetooth. The Sony Ericsson T608 is also the first Sony Ericsson phone offered by Sprint, which offered Sony-brand phones previously. Sprint hasn't announced its price for the Java-equipped phone with color screen.
Warren, N.J.— Virgin Mobile has expanded the availability of its prepaid Top-Up cards to thousands more storefronts through agreements with four prepaid phone-card distributors. They are CellCards, GTS Prepaid, PRE Solutions and InComm. Virgin Top-Up cards are now available through more than 25,000 storefronts. Virgin reached separate agreements to sell the cards through 800 Hess gas stations and CVS drugstores.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.