By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
At least two manufacturers —VTech and Uniden — will unveil the industry's first 5.8GHz cordless phones at CES.
Uniden's TRU-5886, due in the fall at a suggested $199, ships with corded handset in the base and one cordless handset, but it supports two cordless handsets. Features include caller ID/ call waiting, digital answering system and phone book memory.
VTech announced that it will market a line of 5.8GHz DSS multi-handset cordless phones under its brand name and under the AT&T brand.
The VTech-brand phone, the VT5831, will be first to market in July at a suggested $179. It expands to six handsets. A Boost button improves sound quality and range.
Two AT&T-brand models include the 5840, due in October at a suggested $219 with caller ID/call waiting , digital answerer, and speakerphone in the base and handset. The 5830, due November at a suggested $179, will feature caller ID/call waiting, dial-in-base speakerphone.
Uniden product manager Rex Holloway said the launch is predicated in part on flagging prices in the home phone market. "The key is to stay ahead of the retail price erosion with a premium technology," Holloway said.
The frequency is less susceptible to household interference, Holloway said. Microwave ovens, for example, have been known to disrupt 2.4GHz phones. The new phones will, at least for a time, operate in an uncrowded space, he added.
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