By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
PCD Launches Accessories Web Site HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. - Personal Communications Devices (PCD) launched a direct-to-consumer website, http://www.pcdwireless.com/, to make it easier for consumers to find accessories designed for lower volume handset brands.
The company is also offering its online store on a white-label basis to carriers that want to support their customers with accessories but don't want to tie up shelf space in their brick-and-mortar stores. PCD will manage inventory for the carriers, ship the accessories to the consumer, and share revenue with the carrier.
Accessories for higher volume cellphone brands such as Apple and Samsung "take up the most peg space" in carrier stores and indirect retail stores, said CMO Katie Wasserman.
Besides aiding consumers and carriers, the PCD site and the carrier-branded sites will support the handset brands for which PCD provides marketing and logistics services, said Billy Crotty, GM of PCD's accessories strategic business unit. Supported PCD brands will include Casio, HTC, Pantech, and Alcatel One- Touch, but the site also offers accessories for Samsung and Apple phones too.
In-box literature will inform handset purchasers that they can go to one of PCD's carrier-branded sites, Crotty noted. The web site stocks third-party accessories as well as PCD-designed accessories.
Wasserman noted that carrier stores are devoting less space to accessories as their stores become more "experiential."
Apple Of TracFone's Eye
MIAMI - No-contract cellular provider TracFone Wireless continues to expand its support for Apple's iPhone. The MVNO said consumers who own GSM versions of the iPhone can activate the phone with service from its Straight Talk brand, which is available exclusively in Walmart. The brand also recently began offering the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 and 5.
In bringing their own iPhone to the StraightTalk network, consumers can use an iPhone previously activated on the AT&T or T-Mobile networks or use an unlocked GSM iPhone.
Straight Talk sells the 16GB iPhone 5 for $649 and the 8GB iPhone 4 for $449, and Walmart offers a no-interest financing offer to help customers pay for the device.
Samsung Upgrades Galaxy Tablets
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.- Samsung Electronics America has begun offering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates for the WI-Fi-only versions of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1 and 7.0) tablets.
The company also bundled the Android updates with a collection of new features that upgrades multitasking and productivity, such as improved S Pen functionality and the ability to easily open and resize multiple apps, then view them across the screen layered on top of each other.
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.