By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
HANNSpree showed dealers at International CES a new flat-panel strategy that is putting greater emphasis on LCD PC monitors, and big-screen flat-panel LCD TVs in two series that are designed to compete in price with different portions of the business.
The smaller-screen models with more exotic design styles and themes are being phased out and re-engineered for an edited down re-introduction later this year, said Michael Amkreutz, HANNSpree marketing and product management VP.
In the meantime, the company is going after the bulk of the flat-panel TV business with a dual-brand strategy.
In television, the company is adding two separate lines including an opening price point value-positioned line that will carry the "I-Inc" brand, and a step-up line with more conventional styling cosmetics that will carry the HANNSpree XV brand.
Amkreutz said the I-Inc LCD TV line was developed for the warehouse club channel and other retailers that rely on price aggressive opening price point goods. The open-distribution line will also be used for promotional opportunities during key periods such as Black Friday and on merchandising end-caps with a variety of accounts.
I-Inc models will include the 32W-inch and 37W-inch screen sizes in 720p and 42W-inch and 46W inches in 1,080p. Styling will be more basic than models HANNSpree has carried in the past, Amkreutz said.
More elaborately crafted pieces will be featured in the step-up HANNSpree XV line, which is targeting regional retail distribution.
The line was fully designed and engineered by HANNSpree and will feature LCD models produced at the company's Mexicali, Mexico factory. Screen sizes include 32W-inch and 37W-inch 720p models and 42W-inch and 46W-inch 1,080p models. Later in the year a 52W-inch model will be offered using a Hannstar-made 1,080p LCD panel, he said. The 720p models will feature single HDMI v1.3 inputs, and the 1,080p models will include triple HDMI v1.3 inputs, Amkreutz said.
"The line is built for performance offering some good design elements, and will be very competitively priced," Amkreutz said, adding that HANNSpree XV prices will be benchmarked at the prices of Westinghouse, Syntax and Norcent models.
Unlike those competitors' lines, however, the HANNSpree XV models will be designed for serviceability. A single screw on the back of the set holds down a hatch covering a module containing an integrated inverter, scaler, power supply and I/O board.
"We are going to offer cross-shipped service with a third party we have contracted, and they guarantee with one service call they can fix your TV, for anything other than a catastrophic panel failure," Amkreutz said. "It is not only a better user experience, but it is cheaper for us."
In PC monitors, HANNSpree is putting a big push behind the new HANNSpree XM line, he said.
The XM offerings include SKUs with a variety of looks including models with real leather cosmetics to simulate a basketball, a baseball and a football. But unlike its design-centric initial TV line, the monitors will carry only a $50 or lower premium over conventional models.
The company will also continue to sell its HANNS G PC monitor line as a price-aggressive line based on a low-cost chassis. Amkreutz said he expects IT retailers to carry both lines.
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