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Key Tech Companies Report Good Q1 Results

NEWARK, CALIF. — Logitech went all in on its commitment to the tablet accessories market in April, with product introductions and upgrades for a variety of models.

The CE accessories maker also announced its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year, showing progress in its three-year turnaround strategy. Net sales improved 3 percent in the fourth quarter, to $485 million, compared with the prior-year period.

For the full year, sales were $2.12 billion, up 1 year percent year over year. This is the first full-year sales growth since the 2011 fiscal year, the company said.

Noted Logitech president/CEO Bracken Darrell, “Q4 sales in our growth category — PC gaming, tablet and other accessories, and mobile speakers — were up nearly 50 percent.”

Indeed, PC gaming saw year-over-year net sales rise 86 percent in the quarter, and mobile speakers rocketed 404 percent, driven by the its flagship UE Boom and UE Mini Boom.

However, net sales of tablet and other accessories dropped 26 percent for the period. The decline reflects price adjustments to the company’s Ultrathin keyboard covers, Logitech said, as it manages the transition to its newest Ultrathin products.

The company sandwiched the financial results with new case announcements for the for the Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.

The Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 features a built-in Bluetooth keyboard with Android shortcut keys, a dual-view stand, water-repellant case, and the company’s SecureLock system to hold the tablet in place. It will be available this month for a $99.99 suggested retail.

For the iPad, Logitech introduced the Hinge, Big Bang and Turnaround cases.

The aptly named Hinge feature a hinge that lets users view the iPad in a 50 degree range, as well as spill-resistant materials.

The Big Bang is geared toward users seeking rugged protection and has been drop-tested from 4.6 feet, which the company said exceeds the U.S. Military Drop Standard. It is also made of water-repellant materials, and it has a viewing stand to position the iPad in five positions.

Logitech billed the Turnaround as a “stylish, versatile case.” It has a rotating case that allows viewing in portrait or landscape mode, while the built-in stand has four viewing angles.

Suggested retails are as follows:

• Hinge for iPad Air: $59.99

• Hinge for iPad Mini/Mini with Retina: $49.99

• Big Bang for iPad Air: $99.99

• Big Bang for iPad Minis: $79.99 • Turnaround for iPad Air: $59.99

• Turnaround for iPad Minis: $49.99

Finally, Logitech said it updated its aluminum Ultrathin case for the iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Mini with Retina display, making it lighter and more flexible. It added a multi-angle slot that attaches to the iPad with a magnetic clip, allowing more flexible tilting, and it is now thinner than its predecessor — measuring 6.5mm thick.

The built-in Bluetooth keyboard has iOS shortcut keys/Suggested retail is $99.99 for the iPad Air and $89.99 for iPad Mini and iPad Mini with Retina.

All of the cases are slated to be available this month.