By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Thomson's 2001 communication product plans include an expanded selection of 2.4GHz cordless phone and a cable modem incorporating home-network technologies and voice-over-IP telephony capability.
The company's 2.4GHz assortment, expanded to 12 SKUs from two, includes the company's first analog 2.4GHz models, one priced at a suggested retail of only $39.99, compared to 2000 prices starting at a suggested $99 for a DSS model. The assortment also includes the brand's first 2.4GHz multi-handset models, but originally targeted fourth-quarter shipments will probably be delayed until early first-quarter 2002, the company said.
The phones are the first GE-branded models designed and built from the group up by ATlinks, the joint venture formed last year by Thomson and Alcatel to make and market phones worldwide, said Eldon Chuck, AAlinks Americas marketing VP.
Suggested retails on the single-handset 2.4GHz phones ranges from $39.99 to $129.99, and multi-handset models will be priced from $129.99 to $229.99. Of the 2.4GHz models definitely due during the calendar year, most will ship in the third and fourth quarters, with two models due in August and September.
Thomson is also offering 14 new 900MHz cordless phones, one of which is dubbed the No-Jack Swap-Top phones, already available at a suggested $99. It's intended for homeowners who want to install a cordless handset in a room that lacks a phone jack. A handset-less base station plugs into a phone jack in one room, and a separate recharging cradle holding a cordless handset can be installed in any other room with an electrical outlet.
Last year, the company offered two cordless systems with separate base stations and cordless-handset/charging stands, but those models' base stations were also equipped with integral corded handset. They also didn't feature the new Swap-Top consumer-replaceable handset covers in five colors.
The company has already begun limited deliveries of a cable modem that incorporates USB, Home PNA phone-line, and Ethernet networking technologies as well as voice-over-IP telephony capability. The home-network features would enable multiple PC users to share a single high-speed Internet connection.
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.