By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Ericsson's Bluetooth headset and snap-on Bluetooth module have finally arrived and will be followed in the fall by other diminutive headsets from GN Netcom, Motorola and Plantronics.
The headsets are priced at suggested retails of $149-$199 or less, excluding the price of add-on Bluetooth modules for phones or the price of phones with built-in Bluetooth.
"This year, Bluetooth will take off because of product availability," said Ericsson strategic marketing VP John Giere.
Ericsson's headset-module combination, recently approved by the FCC, retails for a suggested $229 on the company's website. The price includes headset, module, travel charger, global plugs, hard travel carrying case and leather holster. A marketer previously said the headset/module package would retail for a suggested $149.
The combination is also available through the iGo catalog at $199, including the same accessories, said an iGo customer-service rep.
The Ericsson module fits the current T28, T28z and A2218Z GSM phones and the planned TDMA trimode R300, which is due in the third quarter at an estimated street price of less than $199.
Ericsson's first phone with built-in Bluetooth will be the GSM/GPRS R520, available in the United States in late third quarter or early fourth quarter but available elsewhere in limited quantities. Two other GSM/GPRS phones with built-in Bluetooth will be the T39 and T68, the former due in volume in early third quarter and the latter in early fourth quarter. All of the GPRS models (see TWICE, April 2, page 29) are triband 900/1800/ 1900MHz models.
The 1.05-ounce headset fits over one ear, features a boom microphone and comes with a single control button for on/off, send/end and volume. It can also be used to dial by placing a voice command to voice-activated phones.
Motorola's GN Netcom-sourced headset, due early Q4 at less than a suggested $200, fits on one ear and lets users voice-dial the TDMA trimode Timeport 270c, the company's only Bluetooth-capable handset. The 270c accepts an add-on Bluetooth module whose pricing was unavailable.
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.