EXCLUSIVE: Pioneer Electronics partner Imagination Technologies who make the highly popular Pure Digital radios has said that they are set to diversify away from the DAB digital radio market the comments come as the Company gets set to launch a new computer radio in Australia.
The UK Company will next month hold a launch function with their Australian distributor Pioneer Electronics, at the British Consulate in Sydney to launch a brand new “Facebook” era radio that doubles as a computer. It comes with a full colour video display screen.
Called the Sensia, the new Pure DAB/FM radio is Wi Fi enabled and has a 5.7-inch touch screen which displays at 640 x 480 resolutions. The 802.11g wireless allows Internet radio to be streamed as well as content from PC’s and NAS storage drives.
It also has a 3.5 millimetre socket for connecting “other sources and twin 3” inch full-range drivers, RF remote and optional rechargeable batteries. Users will also be able to access their Facebook pages, YouTube, and manage digital images using Google’s Picasa.
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It is expected to sell in Australia for around $499.
Imagination Technologies, who was one of the early pioneers of DAB radio cut a partnership with Pioneer earlier this year to distribute the Pure brand radio’s in Australia.
This week the Company said that sales of Pure branded products is improving due to an increase in sales from Countries like Australia where Digital Radio has recently been launched.
Hossein Yassaie, the chief executive of Imagination Technologies, who is due in Australia, next month, said “Pure isn’t about just shipping boxes. We’ve done DAB and we’re going into connectivity now. In a year’s time, people will see the deeper effect,” he said.
His comments come as industry executives speculate that stand alone digital radio sales will “fall flat” as DAB technology is integrated into receivers, home theatre kits and other Hi Fi devices.
Last week the Company reported that they were “significantly” ahead in the first half of 2009 and that the Pure brand, recorded a 2 per cent increase in sales with revenues of $24.7 million. Contributing to this is increased demand from overseas markets like Australia.
Both Apple and Intel recently increased their stakes in Imagination Technologies to 9.5 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. Apart from selling Pure Digital radio’s the group licenses design technology for graphics chips that are used in Apple’s iPhone as well as notebooks and other mobile phones.
Mr Yassaie has described his new Sensia product as more computer than radio.
“There will not be a browser on the device,” he said, although Imagination plans to publish its software kit to allow developers to create new applications. “We see a subscription model emerging,” said Mr Yassaie.
The Financial Times in London reported that Philip Sparks, an analyst at Evolution Securities, said: “There have always been comments about whether the Pure business and graphics business have great synergy and that’s not going to go away. But I expect that Pure will become a proportionally smaller part of the business as meaningful technologies royalties come through.”