By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Logitech held its annual investor day here today, reporting significant progress in its turnaround efforts in the 14 months since president Bracken Darrell added CEO to his title.
"Consumers are showing their approval of our renewed emphasis on product design," said Darrell, as he reported raised earnings and sales guidance numbers for fiscal 2014, ended March 31; forecasted improved growth for fiscal 2015; and announced a $250 million company stock buyback to award shareholders for their confidence.
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.
Oakdale, Minn. – Imation sold off its XtremeMac consumer electronics brand on Jan. 31 following the October sale of the Memorex brand as part of an effort to divest itself from lower margin non-core business.
Imation also said in its fourth-quarter financial report that its TDK Life on Record audio and accessories business, however, “enjoyed strong year-over- year revenue increases, and we have many new consumer-storage products on our roadmap for 2014,” Imation said.
Chicago – Bluetooth-speaker supplier Bem Wireless is launching a Bluetooth speaker that’s worn on the wrist and doubles as a hands-free speakerphone.
Bem’s $49 speaker band incorporates a speaker, microphone, spoken audio caller ID, answer button and compatibility with most voice-recognition apps. For music playback, it features play, pause, skip and reverse buttons. Its rechargeable battery delivers up to six hours of talk time.
San Ramon, Calif. –– The SD Association (SDA) and the NFC Forum have signed a formal memorandum of understanding to promote NFC capabilities in SmartSD memory cards for such uses as secure mobile payments and identity verification via a portable device.
San Clemente, Calif. – iPort is ready to ship versions of its LaunchPort and Control Mount products for the latest versions of Apple’s iPads.
Control Mount is an in-wall mounting kit that turns an iPad into an in-wall Wi-Fi-enabled controller of home-automation systems when the tablet runs a home-control app. It also charges the iPad.
LaunchPort is an inductive charging and magnetic-mounting system that comes in a tabletop version and an in-wall version.
The new Control Mount for the iPad Air begins shipping in February at $399.
El Segundo, Calif. – MXL has named online retailer Musician’s Friend its Dealer of the Year.
Musician’s Friend president Gene Jolly and merchandising VP Chris Tso accepted the award.
Newark, Calif. — Logitech is no longer selling off its video-security division, a spokeswoman confirmed to TWICE. The company announced its financial results yesterday, displaying some turnaround progress with a sales uptick of 2 percent for its fiscal third quarter.
According to Nancy Morrison, Logitech corporate communications VP, the company did not find the right buyer for the division and is no longer planning to sell it. Logitech will still maintain the service and offer cameras for sale, she said.
West Palm Beach, Fla. – MagicJack VocalTec is rolling out a global brand refresh of its MagicJack Plus value-priced VoIP device.
The campaign marks the first major marketing initiative under MagicJack’s new management team and is the first brand refresh in its seven-year history as the company expands its international and U.S. distribution footprint.
The company named Gerald Vento CEO in December 2012, and added a new COO, Timothy McDonald, last month.
Las Vegas — Monster held its annual Retailer of the Year Awards during International CES last week.
The program was capped off by a concert with Fleetwood Mac.
The winners are as follows:
Most Monsterous International Distributor: Convoy International, Botany, New South Wales, Australia
Most Monsterous Rep Firm of the Year: Progressive Sales & Marketing, Byron Center, Mich.
Most Monsterous Retail Salesperson: Sanam Tehrani, Harrods, London
CES 2014 Las Vegas— Skullcandy has announced its first headphones specifically targeted toward women.
The company is also expanding its sports headphones offerings.
The women-specific line consists of ear buds and headphones with adjustments in clamping pressure and form-fitting female-specific ear gels with Pureclean.
The line, which will have fashion-forward designs, according to the company, will launch in March for retails ranging from $29.99 to $99.99.