Sony Eyes Net Appliance Market

  |  June 15, 2001   |  Comments

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."

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Hoy

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.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...