In a statement issued yesterday, iiNet said its new in-house manufactured BoB2 would be available for purchase from June at a cost of $279, handset included; a sum $90 less than the old BoB, which was built in partnership with manufacturer Belkin and priced at $369. Customers who subscribe to a 24-month contract will be able to buy BoB2 at the reduced cost of $199 and extra handsets could be added to the bill for $89.
Following the release of BoB Lite, iiNet's first device to be designed, built and distributed internally, the development of BoB2 was announced last February. At that time iiNet had said the device would have been released by April. iiNet Labs general manager Steve Harley said BoB2 had been delayed to make sure it was sporting the latest technologies and that work was back on track to deliver it by June. 'The developers at iiNet Labs have been working on BoB2 for several months to ensure the unit works perfectly and meets our customers' future needs,' he said.
The BoB2 is an integrated router featuring ADSL2+ functionality, as well as the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi standard and dual VoIP capability to support two phone numbers from two providers through its included handset. The handset sports a full colour screen and a built-in touch panel answering machine. According to the statement, the development of the handset delayed the release.
'Technology never stays still, and iiNet Labs has delayed the introduction of BoB2 to source cutting-edge handsets that we know our customers will love,' Harley said.
BoB2 will support iiNet's fetchtv internet video platform, as well as supporting version 6 of the Internet Protocol (IPV6). Moreover, iiNet promised the included CAT-iq protocol would improve sound quality and meet future needs to stream audio and video teleconferencing wirelessly. 'With more features at a lower price, we expect BoB2 to be very popular,' Harley said.
At the time of the announcement, last February, Harley had said manufacturing in-house products would allow iiNet to differentiate from rival providers and be more competitive; a concept which he reiterated today.
'Developing and manufacturing BoB2 ourselves means that we can offer the product at a more competitive price than ever before,' he said. While waiting for the commercial release, customers who will to buy BoB2 can express their interest on iiNet website or chance their luck on the provider's Facebook page, where the company is giving away one BoB2 per day.
Image credit: iiNet