The e-m@iler is still taking a chunk out of Amstrad's wallet, more than three years after the Internet phone first went on sale -- but profitability may finally be close.Amstrad announced on Thursday that its Amserve business, which is responsible for the e-m@iler, made a pre-tax loss of £6.1m in the twelve months to 30 June 2003. This loss, Amstrad explained, is the result of a business strategy where each e-m@iler unit is sold at a loss, with Amstrad then generating revenue as users pay for services. Two versions of the e-m@iler exist. Amstrad's original model, a stand-alone desktop phone with a keyboard and a screen that let a user send and receive emails, was launched in March 2000. This was followed by an second, more powerful version which also boasted a Web browser, a credit-card reader and Sinclair ZX Spectrum games. Amstrad revealed that a total of 255,000 e-m@ilers have now been sold -- 125,000 of the original model and 130,000 of the updated one. This means that Amstrad never came close to achieving company chairman Alan Sugar's target of seeing "1 million e-m@ilers installed in British homes" by 2002. E-m@iler users pay to access their email and to surf the Web. Amstrad says that e-m@iler revenue is currently running at £18,000 per day, or £6.6m annually, and it's confident that this will increase.
Internet of Things