Dick Smith sales expected to boost Iphone profile               
                          (Dominion; 10/27/98)                         

    SLUGGISH sales of the Cidco Iphone are set for a boost with the announcement 
 that Dick Smith Electronics will sell the Internet telephone from next month.

    The Iphone, which allows people to make phone calls, receive e- mail and 
 surf the Internet, has had a low-key presence in New Zealand with Auckland 
 distributor Telepos reporting slow sales.

    However, national electronics retailer Dick Smith is planning a major 
 promotion of the phone, with plans for radio, print, and possibly television, 

    Chris Day, Dick Smith buyer, says the company has signed to be the exclusive 
 "computer and electronic store" selling the Iphone.

    Dick Smith has 42 stores nationwide from Kerikeri to Invercargill and serves 
 over 50,000 customers per week.

    Mr Day says the Iphone will cost $899 including gst.

    Internet access for the Iphone is being provided by Wellington- based 
 Internet provider Netlink with the connection fee and usage charges still to be 

    A standard plan and a "lite" plan are offered, and customers in Auckland, 
 Wellington and Christchurch can also sign up for a flat rate account.

    A point-to-point protocol plan is also available for users wanting to 
 connect to Netlink via their own Internet access provider. Mr Day says the 
 company expects the Iphone to be a "significant mover".

    "We have looked for 18 months for a product to bring to market to give 
 customers the ability to get on the Internet at a reasonable price."

    The company looked at set-top boxes which connect to the television but none 
 met Dick Smith's requirements.

    After 1 1/2 months of testing -- which included stripping the Iphone to 
 ensure the quality of parts -- the Iphone was deemed to be a product worth 

    "The market for the Iphone is very wide," says Mr Day.

    While expected to appeal to customers who find computers too daunting 
 technically or price-wise, it is also expected to be popular as a second 
 Internet terminal and for small offices.

    The Iphone will be available at Dick Smith stores from November 2.

Thanks Kinetic!

© 1998 Kiosks.Org.
All Rights Reserved.