By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS -Motormouths, start your engines. Suppliers are giving dealers a lot to talk about at CES.
Here's what select phone suppliers will be talking up:
Panasonic: New 2.4GHz DSS phones and 900MHz analog and digital models will be displayed.
One new 2.4GHz model is the KX-TG2680N GigaRange Elite speakerphone with all-digital answerer and Talking Caller ID.
This feature, using the Fonix Text-to-Speech engine, phonetically speaks the names of callers identified through the phone's caller ID system. The name is announced through the phone's speaker, and the caller's name and number are displayed on the handset's three-line dual-color LCD. The GigaRange Elite ships in February at a suggested $349.95.
Panasonic will also launch five 2.4GHz GigaRange Extreme Spread Spectrum models: the KX-TG2403 (April at a suggested $119.95); KX-TG2553 (April, $159.95); KX-TG2563 (March, $189.95); KX-TG2583 (March, $239.95); and KX-TG2593 (September, $269.95). These models have rubberized trim to guard against daily wear and tear. All but the KX-TG2403 feature splash resistance.
In the 900MHz band, five models will debut and ship in July at a suggested $69.95-$119.95. They offer caller ID with backlit, three-line LCD on the handset. The LCD also displays 50-name-and-number caller ID memory.
Sony: Making its entry into 2.4GHz, the company plans to ship three digital spread- spectrum models in February and to follow up with a second-generation 2.4GHz line in August or September.
The three phones are the $180-suggested SPP-S2430, $180 SPP-A2470, and $200 SPP-A2480. They feature caller ID and jog-dial scroll button.
The S2430 and A2480 come with a full-feature corded base unit, a remote charger for the cordless handset, and one-touch long-distance button that routes callers to Call Manage-a company that compares competitive long-distance rates and routes a call through a low-cost carrier.
The A2470 and A2480 feature integrated answering machines.
The second-generation 2.4GHz DSS line, called the QuadraStation 2.4, will consist of five models. The first model, the SPP-A2780, will be shown at CES and is expected to retail for $200.
All models in the series will support up to four handsets, which can also function as two-way radios independent of the base station for a length of 600 feet.
Southwestern Bell Freedom Phone: Several new 2.4GHz digital spread-spectrum and analog models, as well as new 900MHz analog models, will be displayed.
The GH2410MS 2.4GHz analog features 40-channel autoscan, 20-number memory and caller ID. It's due in April at a suggested $79.99.
The GH2420 is a 2.4GHz analog model with 20-minute digital answerer available in July at a suggested $99.99.
The analog 900MHz FF940MS features cordless headset, 10-number memory and automatic call connection. It's available at a suggested $59.99.
Thomson: The company's new line of 2.4GHz analog phones, on display at Mandalay Bay, will be rolled out throughout 2001. The entry-level 2-7920 will retail for $49.
The company will also show a 2.4GHz analog model with caller ID (2-7930), one with an answering machine (2-7990), and speakerphone model (2-7936) with dual keypads and LCD caller-ID display in the base and handset. They're due between June-September at prices that weren't available at press time.
Thomson also plans to show a mockup of a 2.4GHz digital spread-spectrum multiline multihandset model, but it won't be available until late 2001 or early 2002.
Toshiba: The company is replacing all of its 900MHz analog, 900MHz digital and 2.4GHz digital spread-spectrum phones, in addition to adding an extra SKU to the 2.4GHz DSS line.
The SG1981 is the addition, due in August at a suggested $189.99. It features an integrated answerer and caller ID and will complement two replacement models: the SG1701 and the SG1801 with caller ID.
Both replacements will be available in July at retails of $99.99 and $169.99, respectively.
Uniden: The new eight-phone 900MHz 2900 series includes three models with voice prompting, a feature that announces programmable phone functions such as a personal voice greeting and the settings for day and time.
The EXP2900 and EXP2901 are the basic models, and they're available in ivory and charcoal, respectively, at an estimated retail price of $19.99 each.
The ivory EXP2903 adds an extra charging cradle at an estimated retail of $24.99. The ivory EXI2960 adds caller ID at $39.99. The ivory EXA2950, $44.99, features an integrated digital answerer and voice prompting.
The EXAI2980I and the EXAI2980 add caller ID at an estimated retail of $59.99. They're available in ivory and charcoal, respectively. The EXI2926 is a charcoal two-line phone with caller ID at an estimated retail price of $69.99.
The other 2900 series models are due in April and May.
Uniden: also plans to launch the 3900 series of 900MHz digital spread-spectrum phones. They'll feature consumer-changeable faceplates in different colors and distinctive phone ring to identify designated incoming callers.
In that series, the EXI3965 and EXAI3985 feature programmable rings, brighter-than-usual LCD display and two keypads. The EXAI3985 and EXA3955 have an integrated digital answering system with voice prompting.
The EXI3965's estimated retail is $69.99 and is due in July. The EXA3955
and EXAI3985 will be available in August at estimated retails of $79.99 and $99.99, respectively.
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