The Home Entertainment Source (HES) division of BrandSource outlined Sunday for the members who attended its Orlando-held Summit a group of fresh initiatives that will include the debut of Connected Source – a program that HES executive vice president Jim Ristow called “a turnkey concept for HES members so they can display and demo the latest technologies in a showroom in a store-within-a-store model, at low cost.”
Ristow told members that “it’s time to ride the new wave” of connectivity. “This whole balloon is about to take off, and you should embrace it.” He cited statistics that projected total sales of 200 million smartphones between 2008 to 2011, with 2011 sales to exceed PC sales. Sales of tablets, which reached 17 million units last year, would more than double this year, he said in citing further data. Between tablets and smartphones, there are over 250 million potential customers in the U.S. who want to be connected – but just two percent of them are using their devices for control, he stated. As an example, Ristow likened systems from the wireless multi-room music system company Sonos to “Trojan horses” from which sales of multiple-zone and multiple control options can spring. “And there are more Trojan horses coming,” he added, citing Apple AirPlay and DLNA technologies as sources for profitable spinoff sales.
Also announced at the presentation was a deal that will bring models from the newly resurrected high-end Pioneer Elite large-screen flat-panel LCD TV brand being licensed by Sharp to HES’s Expert Warehouse when they are expected to launch in the summer.
On hand for that announcement were Pioneer executive vice president/home electronics Russ Johnston and Tom Evans, newly hired by Sharp’s Home Entertainment Group as associate vice president of Elite brand product and marketing. Evans said Sharp was “working to provide a distinct product for the market, like no other available today.”