Distributor News

SoftBank Gobbles Brightstar

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SoftBank Gobbles Brightstar

Following the acquisition of an 80% stake in US carrier Sprint Japan's SoftBank shells out $1.26 billion for 57% of Brightstar, the mobile distributor handling the SoftBank trade-in and phone buyback programs.

Once a small mobile device trader operating mainly in S. American countries, Miami-based Brightstar currently operates in 50 countries. It has boasts pre-tax revenues worth over $7 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2013, and counts Motorola, BlackBerry, Apple, HTC, LG and Samsung as customers.

"Brightstar has been a model of innovation, transforming from a regional wireless distributor into the world's leading provider of services to the wireless industry and we are excited about what that will mean for the SoftBank Group," CEO Masayoshi Son says.

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How I Came to Found a CE Distributor

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How I Came to Found a CE Distributor

Being a distributor is not an obvious career choice. If you went round a school playground and asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up, the answers might be that they wanted to be footballers, firefighters, or maybe a celebrity winner of a Simon Cowell talent show, but I would not expect any of them to say that they wanted to distribute consumer electronics to retailers.

When I was at school being an astronaut was a popular career choice, one that is almost forgotten now, but like most of my classmates, at the age of 11 I wanted to be a footballer. Unfortunately the only position I could get in the school football team was a reserve goalkeeper. When, the day before an important match the main school goalkeeper went sick. I stepped in. Unfortunately we lost the match 5-1 and in those circumstances it is very tempting for the losing team to blame the goalkeeper, especially when the rest of the defence had a number of problems. So, unfairly to my mind, my first career ambition died there.

But it was not until I was made redundant from my first, and possibly only, real job, that I thought of starting a company reselling electronics.

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Sony Licenses Video Compression from Startup

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Sony Licenses Video Compression from Startup

Sony licenses video compression technology from a startup company called Eye IO to help deliver on its promise to bring 4K video over broadband in a 4K streaming this summer.

Sony originally announced plans for the industry’s first 4K streaming service at CES in January.. and it says everything is on schedule for the launch. But a date hasn’t been confirmed—and neither has the pricing.

Experts Continue reading...

Tech Data Recounts Numbers from Past 3 Years

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Tech Data Recounts Numbers from Past 3 Years

IT distribution giant Tech Data rips up the financial results for fiscal 2011, 2012 and 2013 following the discovery of errors in the "vendor accounting" of UK subsidiary Computer 2000.

As a result Tech Data will recount the number and publish new results-- with the adjustments wiping out up to $33 million from previously reported net profits and cutting reported consolidated operating income by Continue reading...

First Anti-rip Copy Protection for Blu-ray Discs

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First Anti-rip Copy Protection for Blu-ray Discs

Rimage Corporation launches Blu Lock anti-rip copy protection technology for Blu-ray Discs. Blu Lock is the first anti-rip copy protection technology that integrates directly into the Rimage Blu-ray Disc publishing solution, allowing a broad range of businesses to deliver digital content securely to their customers.

Blu Lock’s anti-rip copy protection provides on-the-fly protection of commercial an Continue reading...

GAME Continues Store Closure

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GAME Continues Store Closure

GAME announces the closure of more stores over the next 3 years, following reports of sale and revenue decrease. The UK-based company currently runs 635 stores in its home country, to be reduced to 550. GAME's European stores are not affected yet.

Globally, GAME runs over 1,000 stores.

The company reports losses throughout Europe, although it retains its position as market leader in the UK, Spain, Continue reading...

Tech Data on Acquisition Trail, Buys Triade

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Tech Data on Acquisition Trail, Buys Triade

Tech Data buys Triade Holding, a Netherlands-based distributor for consumer electronics, mobility and IT products that sells in Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands. Triade held Rosemeier Electronics in Denmark and HON, Quote and Battrex in the Benelux countries.

Simultaneously, Brightstar Europe (JV between Brightstar and Tech Data) will buy Triade’s Mobile Communications Co. un Continue reading...

Napster: Why Best Buy Will Play This Tune

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Napster: Why Best Buy Will Play This Tune

There is a missing link, we believe, in the press reports surrounding Best Buy’s decision to acquire Napster.

No one yet has linked the new Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE is a consortium of Hollywood studios, retailers and tech companies) to the deal.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount Pictures and Comcast Corp. with with tech Continue reading...

Al-Futtaim First in UA to Join CEA

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Al-Futtaim First in UA to Join CEA

Distributor Al-Futtaim is now the first international affiliate in UAE of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) of America.

CEA, a trade organization for 2200 companies in the consumer technology industry in USA, owns and runs CES Las Vegas.Al-Futtaim rolled out an iHOME display for Gulf Region consumer electronics and intelligent home systems during International CES Hometech exhibition, featuring Continue reading...

An Old Tradition, the Trading Company Comes to CeBIT

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An Old Tradition, the Trading Company Comes to CeBIT

Inside the ICP@CeBIT pavilion in Reseller Planet at CeBIT, we were surprised to see the stand of Al-Futtaim Electronics.

We recognized Al-Futtaim from their position in the Middle East market where they represent brands like Volvo, Alactel, Toys R Us, Toshiba, Panasonic and more.

A part of the nature of the Middle East market reflects the nature of their dominant trading partners: the factories of Asia. Continue reading...

V7 Backpacks...Just the Beginning

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V7 Backpacks...Just the Beginning

Ten years ago it seemed like a radical idea: a distributor’s own brand. A house brand. Sure, in those days you had a few odd distributors like Trust that lived by building their brand, but in general the Brand (with a Capital “B”) was still territory occupied solely by Tier 1 vendors who could buy expertise from marketing gurus and big agencies.

Vendors built brands, distributors built channels and route-to-market for those brands, and retailers built traffic and sales. It was a far more, simple world (although we still managed to get confused in it).

Today everybody wants a brand, so much so that you think some laws should be passed requiring vendors to first pass a Brand 101 test. A major trend in high volume retail is to have your own brand, from WalMart to Dixons. Many channel players have launched their own brands, from distributors like ACI in Belgium with iDream to Taiwan companies trying to escape the OEM heat from China’s prolific competition. A few become winners and more will die as losers.

Ingram is a winner and perhaps one that has not been given full recognition yet. They started their brand quietly in the heyday of system builders, when SBs were starving for components. They launched V7 and for years gained experience. More importantly, Ingram Micro has gained a vision of the mega-potential a House Brand could have for a global distributor. They have seen the future and the future is House Brand. Continue reading...

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