In Search of Beats Replacement, Monster Turns to…Tumi?

Photo of Tumi x Monster HeadphonesThe best briefcase I have ever owned – it has literally been around the world with me – is my Tumi leather soft-side, expandable briefcase. I still own it and whenever I go anywhere for a business meeting…it goes with me. So it caught my attention today scanning the news wire services when I saw a press release that Monster (formerly Monster Cable) was partnering with Tumi to launch a new headphone – called the Tumi x Monster – based on their existing Inspirations model.

Not exactly an intuitive choice…Monster has their reasons for partnering with the luxury travel brand… Continue reading

Panasonic to Cut Production of LCD TV Panels

CEScrowd2PanasonicPanasonic Corp. has announced it will cut production of LCD panels targeted for TV manufacture in the next fiscal year in order to increase production of small and midsize LCD panels for tablets and other mobile devices. The move is seen as a response to the company’s declining TV business.

Juggling purchase and supply agreements…looking for cost savings…

Continue reading

New Research Quantifies Impact of ‘Showrooming’

Harris Interactive LogoNew research released today from Harris Interactive, conducted on behalf of CouponCabin.com, provides a sobering look at how prevalent the practice of showrooming is among smartphone- and tablet-owning retail shoppers. Showrooming is where retail shoppers use their smartphone or tablet to look up lower prices on items they see in the retail showroom to purchase later from an online merchant.

According to the survey, more than 43% of smartphone and tablet owning consumers admit to showrooming. This figure, alarmingly close to 50%, is likely to be much higher than many industry observers would have expected.

But the survey didn’t stop there… Continue reading

After Years of Free-Fall, Housing Finds a Solid Bottom It Can Build From

Photo of housing under constructionThe U.S. Commerce Department released the latest data on new residential construction today and the results caught most off-guard as it was significantly better than expected with September overall housing starts increasing to 872,000 units – an amazing 15% over the revised August figure of 758,000. This data clearly suggests the nightmare of the 2007 housing market collapse can start to become a memory as the market recovers from a very scary bottom reached in the middle of 2009 when starts were at the lowest levels ever recorded since 1959.

More good news as housing’s outlook brightens… Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE> CEDIA Executives Address Issues Raised by strata-GEE.com Readers

As long time readers of strata-GEE.com (and the previous stratecongroup.com) know, for the last three years, we have conducted a survey of our readers on their attitudes of both the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the CEDIA EXPO. Last month, our CEDIA EXPO survey saw a dramatic increase in participation – up over 90%.

Over 80% of the participants completed the entire survey and a review of the survey results showed that we got a lot of great comments on our open-ended questions. Whether positive or negative, it was clear that strata-GEE.com readers were serious, thoughtful, engaged, and concerned about this event.

Now, in a first for us, CEDIA responds to our survey – and more – in an exclusive interview… Continue reading

Nortek Names New Chief Supply Chain Officer

Nortek LogoNortek, Inc. announced today the appointment of Scott Campbell to Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. A newly created position, the company says that the executive will be responsible for “creating, driving and implementing” an enterprise-grade, global supply chain strategy. Continue reading

Pioneer to Use Contract Manufacturers in Indonesia to Produce Car Sound Systems

Pioneer_2012CES_2The Nikkei reported today that Pioneer Corporation is planning to use contract manufacturers in Indonesia for the production of its automotive sound systems starting next spring. According to the report, the company is “facing a shrinking market for its mainline car navigation equipment.”

See what Pioneer feels they gain by making this move… Continue reading

D&M Sells McIntosh Labs to Italian High-End Marketer Backed by Private Equity

McIntosh LogoNews emerged today that Italian holding company Fine Sounds SpA has acquired 100% of McIntosh Laboratory, the Binghamton, NY-based high-end brand most recently owned by D&M Holdings. The announcement – which came from Fine Sounds, contained only a short statement from Charles Randall, President of McIntosh, with no other comments attributed to D&M Holdings or its parent Bain Capital.

Fine Sounds, backed by private equity company Quadrivio – also based in Milan, Italy – is the owner and distributor of other high-end brands such as Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital, and Sumiko. According to the company, their strategy is to “offer products that are the best in the world in their category.

But does this strategy make sense for McIntosh?…

Continue reading

Start-up ube Wins $1 Million People’s Choice Award

Launched earlier this week at DEMO, the high-tech conference in Silicon Valley that just wrapped up, start-up company ube won the People’s Choice Award and $1 million worth of media from IDG properties. We profiled ube in our post here…saying that they just may be on to something and the DEMO judges apparently agree.

Learn more about this win here… Continue reading

Japan Moves to Set Worldwide Standard for Residential Energy Storage

Photo of Joe Piccirilli of Rosewater Energy Group

Joe Piccirilli, Rosewater Energy Group

At last month’s CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis, we learned about – and reported on – a new venture by industry stalwart Joe Piccirilli to sell a residential energy storage hub under the Rosewater Energy Group brand. Their hub uses rechargeable batteries to store energy from the power grid, or from renewable sources (i.e. solar panels, wind turbines), or even from a back-up generator to condition the energy and power your home.

Now news comes out of Asia that Japanese industry, in conjunction with the Japanese government, is preparing a proposal for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to set international standards for the fledgling residential storage industry.

Why is Japan focusing on residential energy storage? Read below to see why… Continue reading