A big announcement about VoIP flew under the radar on Friday. But I like when that happens, because I can be one of the first to write about it, heh heh.
I am talking about SunRocket's announcement that it is working with equipment maker Thomson to develop a General Electric-branded VoIP phone that would be sold through the SunRocket service. No market date has been specified, but when this actually hits the store shelves, just watch out.
Few if any household gizmo manufacturers have the multiple-generational trust of GE. If General Electric uses even a smidge of their massive advertising, marketing and distribution machine as part of this endeavor, it will be a major step forward for taking VoIP to the mainstream. No, I am not envisioning product placements on tv shows broadcast by GE-owned NBC, but when it comes to jostling for prime display space at Target or even Wal-Mart- we could be talking about, "look at this, hon. You know those new-fangled phones you talk over on the Internet? The one that Marge and Bill have? Well look, GE has one for sale.."
But you know what else is interesting about this deal? To very loosely paraphase Paul Simon, this is a mother-and-child reunion. RCA, which once owned NBC, was sold off by GE to Thomson when the giant corporation bought RCA for its NBC assets. Now a Thomson unit is making phones under the GE livery.