Amstrad lowers e-m@iler price again

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The consumer electronics company Amstrad yesterday officially slashed the price of its e-m@iler gizmo in an effort to boost its subscriber base before it launches the third generation of the machine.</p>Amstrad cut the price of the machine, a telephone crossed with an e-mailing device that also allows users to surf the internet, to £29.99 from £49.99, although it is already on sale in some high street stores for as little as £24.50.</p>The company said lower manufacturing costs, additional revenue-earning services and helpful currency movements had enabled it to make the price cut.</p>Simon Sugar, Amstrad's commercial director, said: "Sales have been in line with what we planned. We've been producing this particular product now for two years. It's not a flog-off. It's something that's been planned for six months now." He stressed that the price cut was designed purely to increase user numbers. "Increasing the installed base remains a key objective," he said.</p>Mr Sugar also said the company planned to launch the next version of the product in the first half of this year.</p>Since Sir Alan Sugar's Amstrad launched the first e-m@iler in 2000, around 300,000 units have been sold. The original model went on sale at about £79 while its successor started at £100 before the price was halved.</p>Amstrad makes money from the machines by getting a cut of the telephone charges when users send emails and surf the internet. It also gets advertising revenue. </p>