Sony Electronics plans to unleash its e Villa Net appliance laterthis month, but can it succeed where others have failed?
Sony Electronics later this month will ship a new product that it hopes will succeed in a space where competitors have failed.
The device, a net appliance dubbed the e Villa Network Entertainment Center, will hit retail outlets with a suggested price of $500, about the same as 3Com's failed Audrey net appliance.
The e Villa Web terminal comes with a built-in V.90 modem, and Sony promised that in the near future broadband service would be available through its built-in Ethernet port. Sony has an exclusive deal with EarthLink to provide dial-up connectivity for the device for $21.95 a month under the e Villa online service brand. The subscription offers unlimited access for up to four users, each with their own email address, 10MB of online mail storage, and bookmark, cookie and preference settings. Subscribers can also connect to the Internet through their PCs under the same subscription.
Unlike the Audrey, the e Villa takes a form factor similar to a PC. It comes with a 15-inch (14-inch-viewable), portrait-mode (800 by 1,024-pixel) Trinitron CRT display, which lets surfers view Web pages with one-third less scrolling. It also has a full-sized keyboard, scroll mouse, audio jack and Memory Stick media slot, as well as two USB ports for external printers or Zip drives. Under the hood it combines a National Semiconductor Geode processor and the BeIA operating system, with provision to manage multimedia plug-ins and device drivers for popular sites.
Three buttons on the front of the e Villa take users to the Web, their email boxes or a portal to seven "channels" of information. Nightly updates make information such as movie times, stock quotes, and weather forecasts accessible offline.
Despite high profile flops in the information appliance market -- including the Audrey and Netpliance's i-Opener -- a number of analysts remain bearish on the market as a whole. IDC Tuesday released a report claiming that the market will soar from $7 billion last year to $44 billion in 2005. Clearly Sony Electronics wants a part of that action.
But the fine print of IDC's analysis suggests a different story.
"Moving forward, more established products such as handhelds, iTV-enabled devices, and Internet-capable gaming devices will fuel-inject the information appliances market with high-octane growth," IDC said. "Together, these products will account for 85 percent of total value of shipments in 2005. Web tablets, Web terminals and email terminals will make up only a very slim portion of the market."
This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!
After five years of telling others about how to spend their marketing budget online, Richard Hoy recently left the employ of this influential publication to see if what he's been blabbing with his big fat mouth all these years really works. He is President and Co-founder of Booklocker.com Inc., an alternative to traditional publishing that helps authors realize profits of up to 70 percent of sales by combining electronic publishing with Internet marketing.
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.