‘Bundled customers’ often seek upgrades

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Delly Tamer, founder and CEO of online retailer LetsTalk.com, doesn’t know if carriers’ increased interest in bundling accessories presents a rival channel to his own, growing business, but he’s pretty sure those carriers’ customers eventually come to him.
“Bundling accessories with phones at the point-of-sale doesn’t always meet the customer’s needs,” Tamer said. “You see many carriers giving away 512 megabyte memory cards, but the 1 gigabyte card is our most popular memory-card product.”
“Multimedia features are more addictive than coffee,” Tamer added. “Small memory cards lead to larger memory cards.”
The same goes for high-quality Bluetooth headsets from myriad vendors now crowding that space. Carrier customers eventually desire an upgrade. Enter: LetsTalk.com.
Tamer agreed that multimedia features are driving the accessories market.
“Earlier this year I woke up one morning and realized that I had been selling cellphones and that now I’m selling mini-computers,” he said. “And we’ve come a long way in the quality and price points of the accessories that go along with them. We’re just now meeting a pent-up demand.”
Tamer predicted a steady year of rapid accessory growth as consumers educate themselves on their handsets’ capabilities and the accessories needed to optimize them.
In the area of Bluetooth headsets, where five firms claim 85% of the market, Tamer said “it seems there are a million Bluetooth vendors.” BlueAnt Wireless, Jawbone and even Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. are making headway in that market, he added.
“That 15% (beyond the behemoths) is still driving a lot of companies,” he said. “Competition is alive and well.”

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