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Thomson Goes Dialing For Google

Indiana – Thomson and Google will partner for a line of DECT cordless phones with integrated GOOG-411 directory dialing.

Select lines of Thomson’s GE-branded DECT models shipping in April will incorporate an auto-dial button that connects with GOOG-411, a free business directory service from Google. The GOOG-411 service using voice-activated prompts to connect dialers with desired businesses.

Phones shipping with the GOOG-411 feature will include the GE Premiere line (model 28821FJ3) which also includes a portable speakerphone/room intercom extension, eight handset expandability, built-in alarm clock, ITAD and ring tones. It will ship with two handsets and an intercom for a suggested $99. The intercom unit will also be sold separately for a suggested $39.99.

The Premiere line will also ship without the intercom in a single handset SKU (28811FE1) for a suggested $49.99 and a three-handset system with ITAD (28821FE2) for $99.

An Advanced line with large LCD screens, six handset expandability and caller ID will also include Google dialing. The line will range from a single handset SKU (28213EE1) for $39.99 to a three-handset system with ITAD (28223EE3) for $89.99.

The Google partnership is one in a series of technology-oriented cordless introductions from Thomson’s Consumer Network Division, bucking what will be a trend of a more conservative approach to the market from other cordless suppliers at International CES.

Among Thomson’s introductions is a combination phone and digital photo frame, a Bluetooth adapter for turning any cordless phone system into a dual mode, cellular/landline handset, and an intercom/speakerphone accessory that can tie into its multi-handset DECT products.

Additionally, the firm will discontinue its 2.4GHz digital phones and phase out of 5.8GHz digital as well, crowning DECT as its digital technology of choice, said Tom Bratton, sales and marketing VP. The company will continue to support 2.4GHz analog and 5.8GHz analog telephones, he added.

The GE Photo Phone (model 27956EE1) merges a 7-inch digital frame with a DECT cordless phone. Caller ID information can be tied to digital image to display during an incoming calls. The frame can store up to 20 images on internal memory and features memory card slots for storing additional images.

It ships with a single handset in the box and is expandable up to four. It ships in March for a suggested $139.

Thomson will offer a riff on its Bluetooth Cell Fusion product with the Cell Fusion Home Gateway (model GE 21518FE1) a device that sits between a cordless base station and the phone jack to provide cellular conversion to the system’s cordless handsets. The Gateway will work with any manufacturer’s phone system and can pair with up to two Bluetooth-enabled cell phones. It will ship in April for a suggested $79.

The traditional Cell Fusion will also be updated in April. The new DECT-based GE Cell Fusion (model 28129FE2) is expandable up to seven handsets and retails for a suggested $129.

In April, the company will also offer two lower-cost Bluetooth Fusion models – the 28127FE1 bundles a single DECT handset for $79.99, while the FE2 packs two handsets for $99.99.

Thomson will continue its InfoLink product, introduced in 2007, which connects to the Internet and displays RSS feeds on the handset. The company is pitching the product to cable operators as well as selling it through retail, Bratton said.

The high tech push was born out of the realization that in a rapidly eroding category, “we need to give people a reason to buy phones,” Bratton said.