Sound Industry Gets Growth From Apple & Android Attach Devices

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The Component Audio industry that has seen its overall business decline 8% during the past 12 months is now moving to a new generation of products linked to the boom in demand for Apple attach and wirelessly linked devices in an effort to kick start its struggling operations.
Several manufacturers are also developing Android applications with brands like Harman Kardon, Pioneer and Monster moving to devices that deliver attach capability via tablet or smartphone using DLNA connectivity, Bluetooth and other forms of wireless across multiple platforms including Apple & Android OS.

Pioneer Electronics said yesterday that it is now competing with the likes of Sonos which has witnessed dramatic growth in the sound market in Australia for its audio distribution products, despite the bulk of their products being sold primarily via the specialist channel.

Pioneer, which is pushing away from the specialist channel in favour of the mass retail channel and Apple Stores, is currently witnessing growth of 32% for its audio products after dumping its loss-making plasma TV division.

The company has now joined the likes of Yamaha, Bowers & Wilkins and Denon in spruiking new sound management devices that incorporate wireless and networking capability, DLNA connectivity and the new Apple AirPlay technology which is allowing top end brands to deliver connectivity and a consumer experience using smartphones and tablets to access a new generation of sound devices.

The introduction of AirPlay by Apple has seen several sound companies pound the path to Apple Asia Pacific Apple Store buyers, who are based in Japan, in an effort to get their new AirPlay sound products ranged.

Earlier this year, Convoy saw its new Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay Zeppelin Dock picked up by Apple which primarily sells at the full recommended retail price. Next month, Pioneer will announce a stunning AirPlay product that will be sold in Apple stores.

Shortly, Marantz and Harman Kardon will launch a range of devices to compete with the new devices already announced by Pioneer, Denon and Yamaha.

 

 

Chris Kotis the General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Pioneer Electronics said yesterday that Pioneer was “repositioning itself.” He said that the new range of devices coming from the Japanese company made home networking of sound and video gear a lot easier.

“You don’t need to have a Sonos system,” said Pioneer Marketing Manager Tony Trent. “The capability being built into our home entertainment management systems using AirPlay and in the future via Android applications allow us to deliver content and sound to multiple zones and multiple devices in the home.”

He said that words like receiver and amplifier were becoming “redundant” in today’s Hi Fi market.

Geoff Mathews, the CEO of Convoy, the distributor of brands like Harman Kardon, Bowers & Wilkins and Monster, said that both sales executives working for retailers and consumers were confused when words like receiver and amplifier were used today.

“I don’t agree that this applies across the board as there are still a lot of Hi Fi enthusiasts who know what they mean, but a lot of sales staff are confused as they don’t know what they mean and they struggle to explain it to consumers.”

He added “a new generation of products like the Zeppelin Air have definitely led to an increase in sales. It’s what the consumer wants and most of the brands we represent, including JBL, are set to launch sound attach products that are not only revitalising the category but giving us growth.”
   

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