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Telephone Unit Sales Up, But Dollars Down In Qtr.

Combined unit sales of telephones, answering machines and fax machines were up 5% in the second quarter, but dollar sales dropped 10%, according to recently released results from the EIA/CEG. Year-to-date dollar sales are down 4% for the group of telecommunications products.

Unit sales increases were posted by corded and cordless phones as well as answering machines, while fax machine sales showed a decline. All categories showed second-quarter dollar sales declines.

In cordless phones, sales reached 4.3 million units, up 300,000 over the first quarter and up 17% over the same period a year ago. Year-to-date unit sales are up a whopping 19.5%, reflecting strength in both quarters.

In dollars, second-quarter cordless phone sales declined 0.5% from $240.9 million in 1994 to $239.8 million this year. Year-to-date cordless sales, however, are running at 3.6% ahead of last year.

At 5.7 million units, second-quarter corded sales are up 700,000 from the first quarter and up 6% over the same period last year. Depressed sales in the first quarter, however, kept year-to-date sales level with last year’s.

Dollar sales for corded phones dipped 11.6% from $133.3 million in last year’s second quarter to $117.8 million this year.

Answering machine sales reached 3.9 million units, up 700,000 from the first quarter, but still 3.5% under 1994’s second quarter. Year-to-date answerer sales are 5.8% below 1994.

Dollar sales of answering machines dropped 12.1% from $268.2 million in 1994’s second quarter to $235.7 million this year. Year-to-date dollar sales are down 9.6%.

The big loser in the second quarter was fax machines, with unit sales of 544,000, down 8.6% from 748,000 in the first quarter. Year-to-date unit sales, however, are up over 7% because of a “phenomenal first quarter,” says EIA/CEG VP Gary Shapiro.

Fax machine dollar sales plunged 16.8% in the second quarter from $229 million in 1994 to $190.5 million in 1995. Year-to-date fax dollar sales are down 9.1%.

Hewlett-Packard Is Entering Personal Color Copier Market

Hewlett-Packard is planning to ship the industry’s first “low-cost” color copier next month, marking the company’s entry into the personal copier market. Called the CopyJet, the product is an inkjet-based color copier/printer that will carry an approximate street price of $2,500.

Hewlett-Packard expects that retailers including CompUSA, Computer City, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, and certain regional stores such Elek-Tek and Fry’s will carry the CopyJet, but no orders had been placed at press time, according to a spokesman.

Although Hewlett-Packard is the leading supplier in computer printers and scanners, its presence in personal copiers has been limited to multifunction products emphasizing fax and printer functions.

“We expect the CopyJet to become the number one selling color copier overnight,” a spokesman for the company said, noting that most color copiers carry prices of over $20,000.

The CopyJet produces 600×300 dpi monochrome and 300 dpi color output at a rate of four copies per minute in monochrome and one copy per minute in color. H-P is stressing in its literature that the unit is the only copier that digitally recognizes and enhances black text automatically for improved output.

The CopyJet is compatible with HP laser printers as well as the DeskJet 1200C and 1600C inkjet printers. It can be attached to almost any computer network with an optional Jet Direct print-server card.

A step-up model, the CopyJet M, comes standard with the print-server card as well as PCL 5 with color, Adobe PostScript Level 2, and additional memory for a street price of approximately $3,200.

HP OmniGo 100 Organizer Offers Swivel Screen And $349 Price Tag

By Amy Gilroy

Hewlett-Packard is expected to announce today its introduction of the OmniGo 100, a low-cost, 1MB pen-based/keyboard electronic organizer/PDA with a unique flip-around screen.

The OmniGo 100 is the first full-featured organizer to incorporate an advanced financial calculator, H-P says. The street price is $349, and shipping is slated for the end of this month.

Hewlett-Packard literature sent to retailers says the OmniGo 100’s screen is unique because it pops up on a hinge and then swivels 360 degrees so it can stand up for easy viewing during keyboard input or lie flat for pen input, retailers say.

The unit incorporates a PCMCIA Type II card slot, a serial interface, and a 240×240 LCD screen. It can operate on two AA batteries or one lithium battery. The OmniGo 100 also incorporates the financial functions found in the HP 12C calculator including cash flow, business percent solver, statistics, TVM, conversions, date calculations and spreadsheets.

The pen-based input for the unit allows Graffiti handwriting recognition, pen navigation, and digital ink, according to Hewlett-Packard literature.

In a related announcement, Hewlett-Packard and Nokia, a supplier of mobile phones, revealed that they plan to co-develop handheld products offering communications abilities through voice, data and fax. The first products from the venture are expected in 1996, according to Nokia.

AT&T Offering Warranty With Rebate Credit

AT&T Consumer Products has introduced a new Super Service extended warranty plan that pays consumers back with credits toward the purchase of an updated product.

Available in its Phone Centers and from other authorized dealers, the program charges a low monthly fee that allows subscribers to extend their warranties for as long as they wish and to receive other benefits. Then, the monthly payment accumulates so that after either 18 or 30 months, the customer has a credit to use toward the purchase of another AT&T telephone product.

For example, customers who spend between $30 and $100 for an AT&T phone would pay $2.25 per month to join the Super Service Plan. After 18 months, they can receive a $40 credit toward trading the product in for the latest technology. Higher credits apply for larger purchases, and the allowance doubles in 30 months.

The program provides a temporary loaner while telephones or answering machines are being repaired, as well as free replacements for damaged accessories such as extended phone cords, cordless phone antennas, and answering machine tapes. For more information, call (800) 555-8111.

“Some customers wonder whether an extended warranty is worth what they pay,” said Kathy Sullivan, VP of retail operations for AT&T Consumer Products. “But with the Super Service Plan, subscribers get the added protection of an extended warranty, plus all of what they pay can be applied to the purchase of a new product in 18 months.”

In other news, AT&T Consumer Products has selected Dugan Valva Contess in Morristown, N.J. and The Media Edge, a unit of N.W. Ayer & Partners in New York, N.Y., to manage cooperative marketing. “Both companies will help strengthen our relationships with retail businesses,” said Joanne Kulick, AT&T Consumer Products marketing manager.

U.S. Factory Sales Of Communication & Information Products

2nd Quarter

Units (Thousands) % Dollars (Millions) %

1995 1994 Change 1995 1994 Change

Phone Answering Devices* 3,995 4,140 -3.5% $235.7 $268.2 -12.1%

Cordless Phones 4,206 3,596 17.0% $239.8 $240.9 -0.5%

Corded Phones 5,663 5,343 6.0% $117.8 $133.3 -11.6%

Fax Machines 544 595 -8.6% $190.5 $229.0 -16.8%


Units (Thousands) % Dollars (Millions) %

1995 1994 Change 1995 1994 Change

Phone Answering Devices* 7,131 7,570 -5.8% $440.8 $487.4 -9.6%

Cordless Phones 8,110 6,788 19.5% $469.2 $452.7 3.6%

Corded Phones 10,645 10,658 -0.1% $229.4 $274.2 -16.3%

Fax Machines 1,292 1,205 7.2% $431.8 $475.2 -9.1%

* Includes stand-alone, corded and cordless integrated models.

Source: EIA Market Research Department * TWICE 1995

(photo omitted)Xerox’s WorkCenter 250 is being introduced at a street price of $699.

Hewlett-Packard’s CopyJet is scheduled to ship in November.