Some of the trends in the screenphone market include:
■ Touch-screen control

■ Bio-metric security features

■ Speech recognition

■ Directory assistance telephone

■ E-mail telephone

■ Personal message center

■ Evolving standards in security and data processing

■ Advanced LCD technology

■ Cordless screenphones – Cordless screenphones provide a complete cordless communication center for the home. These are a combination of cordless telephone, answering machine, address book, message center, and Internet appliance—all in one compact and portable unit.

Basically, the cordless screenphone consists of a wireless web pad with color LCD touch screen and built-in cordless speakerphone, plus a small base station. This consumer device is easy to install and use, just as a normal cordless telephone. Installation is as simple as connecting the base station to power and a phone line, and then touching the screen to begin operating the device.

Once enabled, you can use it to make phone calls, surf the Web, check your e-mail, and send voice clips—wirelessly. One unusual aspect is that, unlike ordinary cordless phones, it communicates with its base station via Bluetooth or IEEE 802.11b—both are 2.4 GHz short-range spread spectrum digital wireless technology championed by makers of cell phones, PDAs, and other portable devices.

The Screenphone Market
Worldwide Internet videophone shipments are expected to reach 3.5 million units by the year 2004, with revenues exceeding $600 million. However, Internet screenphones and videophones are expected to ship 9.5 million units, with $2.2 billion in revenue by the same year.

The screenphone business is primarily focused on the average person—especially those who cannot afford, or do not need, all the power of a PC. It also focuses on small to medium-sized companies. This market is not focused on the high-tech user. Screenphones are priced at approximately $240, with a basic monthly service fee of $60 to $70.

One of the methods used to sell the screenphone is direct selling (compensation plan), which many people think is a flourishing and beneficial business. Of course, many big telecommunication companies also provide the screenphone. Other businesses involved in this field include device manufacturers, software vendors, network operators, and service providers.

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