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SECOND OPTIONS; COMBINATION UNITS PREVAIL AS CD PLAYERS AND PHONES ARE ADDED.

Byline: Michael Rudnick

Single-purpose clock radios are becoming a thing of the past with the trend toward integration and multifunction in consumer electronics that favors combination clock radio/CD players and clock radio/phones.

Jim Babb, a spokesman for Circuit City, said, "We are seeing clock radio functionality being built into CD players, home theater systems and cordless phones." He noted that some of the more popular multifunctional clock radio brands at the big-box retailer include Sharper Image, Disney licensed products, GE, Timex and Sony.

Sharper Image is trying to replicate the success of its Hummer SUV CD stereo/clock radio with a Chrysler Crossfire CD stereo/clock that appeared in its September catalog. The $79.95 unit, which is designed like a Crossfire sports coupe, has a CD player hidden under the hood, a backlit windshield LCD alarm clock and four speakers disguised as wheels.

"The great feature found in most of the new integrated models is that you are not limited to waking up to music [on the radio], you can wake up to a selected CD and song in particular," said Suzie Tatum, a spokeswoman for Sharper Image.

Sean Wargo, director of industry analysis at the Consumer Electronics Association, noted that the proliferation of clock radio/CD player units is a response to consumers seeking a space-saving and inexpensive audio alternative. "These clock radios can serve as a cheap audio solution in a bedroom," he added.

SDI Technology, a longtime player in the clock radio arena and manufacturer of Timex's line, recently launched the T625B, a CD player/clock radio. In the fall, it will unveil its first phone/clock radio with optional talking caller identification.

Caption(s): Timex's recently launched T625B, CD player/clock radio features a unique side-loading CD-tray.
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Comment:SECOND OPTIONS; COMBINATION UNITS PREVAIL AS CD PLAYERS AND PHONES ARE ADDED.
Author:Rudnick, Michael
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 6, 2004
Words:294
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