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CE News, Notes For April 5-9

Any week when the public gets their hands on a product like the iPad for the first time, the iPhone gets even more capabilities, the CE version of Bernie Madoff is sentenced, and net neutrality gets a setback, is a busy week.

Yours truly has a few thought of my own about these stories and more.

  • iPad: Based on everything we have heard, all the reviews you have read, the varied estimates of how many have sold and will be sold, it has all the potential of being the “game changer” it was expected to be.
  • Steve Jobs let Apple’s previous “game changers” — the iPhone and iPod Touch — get the spotlight yesterday with a few tricks of its own with more than 100 new features enabled by the iPhone 4.0 OS. Oh, and did I mention that Apple will also be involved in selling app ads a la Google?
  • After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lost a 3-2 decision in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to Comcast in the BitTorrent decision, the Wall Street Journal reported that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is undeterred and won’t change its “broadband policy goals.”  The court decision is a blow to net neutrality, but the fight in Washington will continue.
  • Upscale A/V brands were in the spotlight this week for different reasons.  On Tuesday, Linear combined three residential installation brands — Niles, Elan and Xantech — into a single group to increase efficiencies. (Linear-owned brands not part of the new group include Gefen, Imerge, Omnimount, Panamax, SpeakerCraft and others.)
  • Also on Tuesday, D&M Holdings announced that it will close its Snell Acoustics operation and discontinue Escient. But it will continue to focus on

Denon, Marantz, McIntosh and Boston Acoustics brands. The news was met with dismay from A/V specialists at least via Talkbacks from our coverage.

  • In the “What was he thinking?” department, Tom Petters, the criminal who got control of the Polaroid brand and used it to mastermind a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, got 50 years in jail for his trouble. All I can say is good riddance.

And I didn’t even mention Toshiba’s marketing operations getting reorganized with Scott Ramirez being promoted or Mitsubishi debuting its 2010 TV lineup, but that’s the kind of week it has been.

To start next week, I’ll be down in sunny (I hope) Florida Monday and Tuesday covering the Home Technology Specialists of America convention, so watch for my coverage from there.