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Email for the Computer-Phobic

Techstination feature for Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Need email but don't want a computer? There's a growing market for what's called an email appliance. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. There are lot of people out there who are either afraid of computers... or simply don't like them. But when the whole world is using email to communicate, what can you do? A company called Cidco is carving out a niche selling email appliances. VP Matt Wrabley... .

"Right now a little bit more than half the population doesn't have an Internet connection at home. A little bit more than 50 percent has a PC at home but they're not on the Internet today. The application that most people want... they don't necessarily want all the things that a PC can do... they don't even necessarily want all the things the Internet can do, the main application that they want today is email."

And so over the course of the last year or so, Cidco has sold over 110 thousand of its MailStation devices. The price... under a hundred dollars... and 9.95 a month for unlimited email. Now the company is expanding its line under the Mivo name..

"What this is is an entire new family of products and it allows us to start to introduce content to the folks out there who don't have access to the Internet. What I mean by content is ... for example, from Yahoo right now, we can actually go out and allow people to check their stock quotes."

And other personalized information too. The new devices... the Mivo 200 and 300... will be on the market this spring. The prices for the appliances and service will be higher than the original... but they will support up to five email addresses per device. You can find more information at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.