Suppliers Broaden SoHo Phone Lines At CES

By Greg Scoblete On Jan 21 2002 - 8:00am




Phone manufacturers had their collective bells rung in 2001 and most are hoping that broader SoHo product lines, introduced at CES will stanch last year's wounds.

In addition to introductions of higher-end products, Uniden and VTech made additions/replacements to a number of their cordless lines.

Spracht, the retail brand of ODI, introduced the Voice Center conference phone, which will ship this month for a suggested retail price of $199. The Voice Center conference phone features full-duplex operation, echo cancellation for improved sound quality, 360-degree coverage and input jacks for two external microphones for use in large rooms.

Siemens introduced its next generation Gigaset 2.4GHz DSS cordless phone system, the Gigaset 8825 and 8800 cordless handset extension.

The high end system, which serves as a replacement for the 2400 series, will be available this month for a suggested retail price of $349.99. The handset will carry a $129.99 suggested retail.

Geared at the SOHO and high-end consumer segment, the new Gigaset is expandable to eight handsets (one ships in the box) and features a corded base station. The unit is multi-line and incorporates a voice-announced caller ID.

The Gigaset 8825 also includes a digital answering machine with 45 minutes of recording time, four mailboxes and an Auto Attendant feature that enables callers to route a call to the correct mailbox. The handset and base unit includes a caller ID display, duplex speaker phone, and a speed dial directory with up to 120 names and numbers.

Uniden launched a number of products with the expressed goal of attaining a number one market share in the total cordless category.

New additions were made to Uniden's DCT line of 2.4GHz multi-handset, multiline phones. The DCT 4948 is a four line, 16 hand-set capable system with caller ID, digital answering machine, corded base station and dual speakerphone on the handset and base. The unit will ship in the fourth quarter with a suggested retail of $279. It ships with one handset (the DCX 494) and charging cradle.

The DCT 4928 is a two line, 12 handset capable system with digital answering machine, caller ID, 4 adjustable ring tones, and a corded base station. Expected in the fourth quarter for $229, it has one charging cradle and extension handset (DCX 492).

VTech has ventured into new territory with its first 5.8GHz DSS phone, the VT 5831 (preliminary details reported in TWICE, Jan. 8, p. 111). The phone is also the company's first to offer a Boost button — a manually activated feature that ramps up the audio quality and volume when a signal starts to degrade.

The phone also features an intuitive audio performance mode that activates when the phone detects excess interference and/or reduced signal strength. The VT 5831 supports up to six handsets, and the base unit has a dialing keypad and speakerphone.

Both handsets and base unit feature a menu driven four line caller ID display, and the handsets feature a vibrating ringer mode. The phone will ship in August for a $149 suggested retail price.

VTech made another addition to its product line with the VT 2468 (August, $69.95), an analog 2.4GHz phone with caller ID and digital answering machine. The phone also features an alphanumeric phone book directory.

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