Cisco IP Phone 7985G Videophone Part 2

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Cisco IP Phone 7985G Videophone Part 2

It appears the new Cisco IP Phone 7985G Videophone is OEM'ed from Tandberg (image to left which is identical to the image I posted about the Cisco videophone on Friday).

If the Cisco videophone has the same feature-set as the Tandberg 150 MXP, then it does indeed support SIP, which I was unsure about when I broke the story on the new Cisco videphone. In fact, the Tandberg 150 MXP also supports the H.323 protocol as well, which is a plus since many legacy videophone systems from Polycom and other manufacturers support H.323. I wonder if Cisco also added their SKINNY protocol to the phone? That would make it 3 protocols running on the Cisco videophone.

According to Tandberg's website the Tandberg 150 MXP has the following features, which I assume the Cisco phone will have as well:
• Optional IM and webconferencing
• URI Dialing
• H.323 & SIP support.
• Up to 512 kbps IP
• Superior video quality incorporating the H.264 standard
• Standards-based embedded encryption (AES & DES)
• Protection against network interruptions with automatic Downspeeding and IPLR

The Tandberg 150 MXP retails for US$2,990, which seems extremely steep to me. I doubt Cisco could get away with selling a business desktop videphone for three thousand dollars. Even high executives such as CEOs aren't going to want to pay $3000 for a desktop phone -that's more than the price of many IP-PBX systems! Just how much margin and markup is on this Tandberg phone that Cisco can still make a few bucks on it? Seems very odd to me that Cisco didn't just build their own videophone. They certainly have the expertise to do this. Further, I would think they could build it less expensively and sell it for much less with a higher profit margin. The only thing I can think of it that this phone is more of a "conference room" videophone and not a desktop videophone for every employee. Certainly today most high-end videoconferencing systems do cost around $3000 so it does fit much better in the conference room videoconferencing space.

Personally, I think Cisco would be better off going after the business desktop videophone space. Let's assume most small to medium corporations have between 1-4 conference rooms. Assuming the max - 4 conference rooms, that's only 4 X $3000 = $12,000 sale per business. Now instead let's assume Cisco makes a desktop videophone that retails for $1000 and assume the average business has 50 employees. Multiple $1000 X 50 = $50,000 sale per business. Of course, not every business is going to need videophones on every single employees desk, but if given the choice between a IP videophone and regular non-video IP phone that is only a few hundred dollars less, many will opt for the more expensive video phones.

Of course, you could simply buy a USB-based high-end $55 Logitech QuickCam Orbit MP Webcam, but until (if?) the PC replaces the desktop phone, we'll still need feature-rich desktop phones.

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