Firms dedicating themselves to Apple support products had a strong presence at the Retail Vision this year.
Distributor Computers Unlimited, a UK based Apple third party distributor, used the show to highlight some of its huge 140 brand portfolio, as it looks to gain a further foothold in continental Europe.
Cygnett is an Australian firm traditionally concentrating on iPhone and iPod accessories, and is now moving into the iPad market, as well as products for BlackBerry and HTC phones. The firm is growing its presence in the UK through its partnership with Computers Unlimited and 2020 Mobile, and will be looking to replicate this success in the rest of Europe this year.
Macally has also jumped on the iPad bandwagon with a new range of Apple certified products, including the ViewStand, which is essentially a dock and mounting device, as well as a number of cables and synching devices. The firm also had on it’s a stand a credit card transaction add-on for the iPhone, which is essentially a clip on swiper which uses the phone to transmit the data. A chip and pin device more specified for the UK is on its way.
MediaLine is pushing a range of TVs with built in Blu-ray players and mini-PCs, as well as an all-in-one ‘Apple look-a-like’ which retails for E399. The firm also has a device which allows web streaming services such as YouTube to be piped directly to a TV.
Presented as an alternative to 3D, Realview has developed a series of devices designed to attach to a TV which give depth to the image, called a ‘Deep Screen’. The theory behind it is that any content older than the last couple of years will not be transferable to 3D, leaving a gap in the market for some kind of enhanced viewing.
TV Ears advertising claims to be able to ‘save marriages’ with its wireless headset for watching TV, allowing users to control there own sound volume. The devices have been very successful in the US with a $20 million business, and the firm will be looking to push them into the UK this year.
An interesting take on mobile internet connectivity was provided by Datawind, which is driving its Pocket Surfer and Ubi Surfer devices, which provide a year of unlimited internet connectivity for an initial outlay. The netbook like Ubi Surfer retails for around £129.99, while the smaller Pocket Surfer sells for around £199.
Webroot is looking to expand its presence in the UK glass-front retail through distribution partners Gem and Enta. It mainly sees this growth coming from the independent channel, and it spent the show drumming up support for the brand.
Elsewhere, LA based Q See is looking to break into the UK market with its security survalance equipment, Startech was building contacts for an expansion into Europe,and Trust was showing off its kids’ focussed bundles of laptop bags with mice and USB sticks.