By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Stamford, Conn. –Harman reports that home audio and multimedia products grew 17 percent in the company’s fiscal third quarter ending March 31.
Chairman Dinesh Paliwal said operating margins hit the high single digits in the three-month and nine-month periods, but did not reveal specific dollar volumes.
Paliwal did note the segment’s nine-month operating margin hit a record-high 8 percent. He also said he expects full-year home/multimedia sales to be “close to $600 million.”
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.
Long Beach, Calif. – Kenwood has begun shipping a pair of in-dash A/V-navigation systems that access Cloud-based services, including real-time traffic, via a Wi-Fi connection to a cellphone or mobile hot spot.
The two touchscreen-equipped head units, which feature embedded Wi-Fi, also connect to services offering weather updates, parking information, speed-camera alerts and travel-advisory information. The two models receive Facebook and Twitter updates, RSS feeds, and personal email converted from text to speech.
Shizuoka, Japan — Yamaha returned to profitability with $42.3 million in net income for its fiscal year ending March 31.
That reverses a previous-year net loss of $301.5 million caused by a restructuring of the company’s domestic Japan business, Yamaha said.
The company also forecast growth in revenues and net income in fiscal 2014.
North American audio sales were up for the year, the company noted.
Tokyo — JVC Kenwood reported lower net sales and net income in its fiscal year, which ended March 31.
Net sales were 306,580 million yen, down from the prior year’s 320,868 million yen. Net income was 1,146 million yen, down from the previous year’s 6,032 million yen.
Car electronics sales were 100,548 million yen, down from the previous year’s 107,281 million yen. Operating income was cut to 2,494 million yen from 6,346 million yen.
Los Angeles — Sony Electronics unveiled a gamut of home audio products today, including light-pulsing boomboxes and a pair of audio/video receivers (AVRs) with built-in Wi-Fi and AirPlay.
The 7.2-channel STR-DN1040 AVR features 1,155 total watts (165 watts per channel) and eight HDMI inputs. Sound Optimizer technology aims “maintain the nuances of the complete soundfield,” while the company’s High Definition Digital Cinema Sound technology reportedly adds “auditory depth for dramatic cinematic sound.”
Salt Lake City – Control4 upgraded its HC-800 and HC-250 home-system controllers and its home-control operating system to support new features and reduce the need for dealers to make on-site support visits.
The upgraded HC-800 and HC-250 controllers are shipping at $1,500 and $750, respectively.
Boston — Luxury-audio start-up AudioXperts is expanding its staff again with the creation of the new position of manager of international sales support.
The company said it appointed Jakob Jespersen to the new position to further strengthen its relationships with international distributors and expand the company’s specialty-dealer network. Jesperson will develop, implement and manage customer support programs for the distributors and retailers.
Oxnard, Calif. — Boss Audio expanded its selection of mech-less marine head units with its first two models equipped with stereo Bluetooth.
They are the $196-suggested MR1350UAB and $150 MR1308UAB.
Both single-DIN models ship this month with AM/FM tuner, MP3/WMA playback from USB sticks and CDs, 4x50-watt output, remote, and ability to retain radio presets in case they are disconnected from power. The MR1350UAB adds full iPod and iPhone control through USB.
Petaluma, Calif. — Elan Home Systems launched the latest software updates for its Elan g! Entertainment and Control System.
The 6.2 software update for the multi-room-audio and home-automation system adds a new on-TV display, control from Apple’s OSX computers, and weather-based event triggers, among other things.