By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Panasonic will offer a line of colorful 2.4Hz digital cordless phones and its VoIP-enabled Globarange series exclusively through Amazon.com, the company said earlier this month.
Three 2.4GHz models — the KX-TG3031, 3021 and 6021 — can be custom ordered in three color series. The "fresh" series will feature pearl blue, pink, yellow and violet; the "bold" series will offer green, orange, red and violet, and the "elegant" series will feature blue, copper, green and red.
The phones feature phonebook sharing, handset speakerphone, visual ringer, handset conferencing and a 50 entry phone book. The TG3031, for a suggested $59.95, also offers a 12-minute digital answering system.
The KX-TG3021 carries a suggested retail of $49.95 and the KX-TG6021 will retail for $59.95.
Panasonic's Globarange models will also be sold through Amazon.com until October, after which time it will be open to all sales channels.
The e-tailer will offer two SKUs: a $99.95 single handset offering (BB-GT1500B) and the BB-GT1540 for $129, which offers a single handset and digital answering machine. Both models feature call waiting, caller ID and handset speakerphones.
The Globarange phones connect to a traditional landline and to a broadband modem for placing calls on the "joip" network — a peer-to-peer VoIP service created exclusively for Panasonic by Deltathree. Consumers using a Globarange phone and the joip service can call each other for free. The joip service also supports a number of premium features, such as number portability and E911, for an additional charge.
Since the product is designed to lure long-distance callers, Panasonic launched the phones simultaneously in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Austria and Russia.
Panasonic underwrote the new VoIP service to offer consumers "additional flexibility, simplicity and cost savings," according to a company spokesperson. The joip service is geared for consumers "looking for an alternative to Skype-based communications products," the spokesperson said. Through joip's premium features, consumers can retain their existing landline number and enjoy 911 emergency calling — something Skype does not offer.
Panasonic also offers several products for the Skype service.
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