By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. – MXL has named online retailer Musician’s Friend as its Dealer of the Year.
Musician’s Friend president Gene Jolly and merchandising VP Chris Tso accepted the award.
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.
LAS VEGAS — Solar charging technology took a large step forward at this year’s International CES, with retail prices dropping and charging times shrinking significantly.
New from Third Wave Power is the mPowerpad 2, which the company claimed captures solar energy faster than any solar charger on the market, enabling it to charge an iPhone after just more than an hour of sun exposure.
Beats Music Launches
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. — Beats Electronics muchanticipated music-streaming subscription service became available last week. Beats Music features a catalog of 20 million songs, according to the company, all available for a $9.99 monthly subscription fee.
LAS VEGAS — Skullcandy has announced its first headphones specifically targeted toward women.
The line consists of ear buds and headphones with adjustments in clamping pressure and form-fitting female-specific ear gels with Pureclean. The company plans to highlight the differences in men’s and women’s hearing while promoting the line, citing studies that said women’s hearing is more sensitive than men’s at higher frequencies.
LAS VEGAS – More companies entered the fledgling U.S. smart watch market during International CES, including tablet maker Archos, smartphone/ tablet supplier ZTE and start-up MyKronoz.
Other newcomers to the product category included CE maker E Fun, Yifang Digital and startup Neptune, while GPS supplier Magellan expanded its smart watch selection. (See TWICE, Jan. 7).
Here’s what some of the companies displayed:
LAS VEGAS — Chinese smartphone maker Huawei will try again to crack the U.S. market with its new 6.1-inch Ascend Mate2 LTE 4G phablet, which features twoday operation and panoramic selfies, the company announced at International CES.
The device is due in the U.S. in the spring.
LAS VEGAS – Chinese cellphone vendor ZTE went to International CES with a number of firsts for the company, including its first 5.7-inch phablet, first voice-unlocking smartphone, first smart watch and first phones to display two apps simultaneously. The launches also include a smartphone with 4K video capture. The phone is said to be the first phone to capture 4K video at 30 fps.
LAS VEGAS — Sigma unveiled at International CES two new Global Vision-series lenses, including the improved and redesigned 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM and 50mm F1.4 DG HSM lenses.
The 18-200mm is listed on retail sites for pre-order at $399. Pricing on the 50mm F1.4 Art lens will be announced later.
LAS VEGAS — Panasonic used International CES to unveil four Lumix long-zoom point-and-shoot cameras and a new Leica Nocticron lens for its Micro Fourth Thirds interchangeable-lens camera models.
The highlight of the new Lumix ZS series cameras is the DMC-ZS40 (pricing and availability to be announced), billed as a super-slim compact camera with a Live View Finder (LVF), 30x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-720mm), a control ring, RAW capture capability and focus peaking.
LAS VEGAS – The Polaroid brand reemerged for TVs at International CES, under new licensee Empire Electronic of Ontario, Calif., which is planning a series of LED LCD TVs, including the brand’s first Ultra HD model.
Empire is licensing the moniker from PLR Holdings for the TV category, and will attempt to rekindle the success Polaroid had temporarily enjoyed in the category before the prior the prior brand owner, Peters Group, fell into bankruptcy.