B&O To Sell Via Apple & Specialist Dealers

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Danish design-electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen is set to approach the specialist AV channel and Apple channel to sell their new B&O Play brand of products in Australia.It’s also tipped that Apple stores, along with JB Hi Fi who are Apple’s biggest retailer, have been approached to sell the new range of B& O products that included a portable iPad speaker frame, a portable iOS device speaker system with AirPlay functionality, and the Beolit portable 2.1-channel speaker box with carrying strap.

This device was shown at the CES Show in January in the USA.

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A B&O Play product

“What we are doing with the B&O Play brand is trying to cast a wider net to draw in a larger audience for Bang & Olufsen products,” Dave Zapfel, B&O national product manager said recently. “We are targeting primarily a younger, more digitally savvy consumer in somewhere from their mid-20s to early 30s. They are mostly independent, urban-living college graduates with a job but haven’t married or settled down yet.”

Speaking at a press event to unveil several new B&O products executives from the Danish Company said that new items will be carried through A/V specialty retailers and Apple Stores, in addition to its own consumer direct website and B&O showroom stores, which the company has relied on almost exclusively in recent years.

ChannelNews understands that B&O Australia is looking to close some of their Australian stores including their Willoughby store in NSW.

ChannelNews has been told that the Company is trying to appeal to a younger, more mainstream demographic; however, they have not explained how they will motivate consumers to buy a premium priced product.

The BeoPlay A8, which has a US$1,149 price ticket, is a sound system that extends the functionality of the company’s previously introduced BeoSound 8 speaker system by adding Apple AirPlay to connect to iPhones or iPads.

The addition enables listening to music from an iOS device through the BeoPlay A8 speakers without the need to connect wires.

Among other new B&O Play-branded products is a BeoPlay A3 which will sell in the USA for $549. This is a iPad sound system featuring a built-in accelerometer to optimise tweeter selection and sound enhancement depending on how the system is positioned in relation to the viewer.

The wedge-shaped BeoPlay A3 wraps around an iPad 1 or 2 (a seating gasket modification for the newest iPad is in the works) and includes three tweeters (two of which are activated at any one time) and a subwoofer. The system’s enhanced sonic experience is continually adjusted for content as positioning as the device is moved in relation to the listener for music, movies or video conference calls.

The so-called B&O Adaptive Stereo Orientation system employs a dedicated motion sensor inside the BeoPlay A3 device to work with the iPad to help determine up from down, for example. The 2-inch omni-directional woofer is always in play, delivering bass down to 60Hz. Three half-inch tweeters are placed in the other three corners of the device. Two are activated at any one time according to a landscape or portrait viewing orientation.

The black frame is trimmed in aluminum and features a wedge shape that allows optimal viewing from a variety of positions. It is powered by a rechargeable battery and will charge a connected iPad when the power cord is used.

B&O Australia has not commented on the launch of the new products in Australia.

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