Compiled by Patrick Avenell

A fall in retail whitegoods purchasing is being offset by a rise in appliance rentals, according to Radio Rentals and Rentlo GM James Marshall.

The Australian Centre for Retail Studies has reported a steady though gradual decline throughout 2011 in turnover for its Household Goods category, with a 3.3 per cent decrease month on month in its April 2011 report. Despite this fall, the same survey category was up compared to the same period last year.

Marshall said that because whitegoods and appliances are essential, consumers have opted to rent the products rather than to purchase them through store finance.

“We’re delighted to have reported record growth in what has been a period of generally soft retail trading conditions,” he said. “We are also very pleased to offer a wider range of household appliances and furnishings more accessible to everyday Australians, particularly those who may not have always had it easy.”

TP-Link, a supplier of home and small office networking products, has a new Australian country manager: Nathan Zhao.

Zhao, who will be based in Sydney, said he was excited about the future of Australia communications, especially with the NBN being rolled out. He hopes the increased interest in networking will help TP-Link expand its distribution.

“Australia is a relatively new market for TP-Link, so we are keen to explore partnership opportunities with local resellers and ISPs for our award winning range of wireless networking products,” he said. “I am confident that we will be able to offer Australian resellers a high quality wireless product at a very competitive price point.

“Given the imminent boom in broadband related services, this is an exciting time for resellers to partner with TP-Link.”

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Remember Symbian? It’s a mobile phone operating system that (almost) everybody in the world once used. Well it’s back, with a brand new iteration called Symbian Anna, running for the first time on the Nokia E6.

This smartphone has a full QWERTY keyboard and a 2.46-inch VGA touchscreen for data input, an 8-megapixel camera, 8GB internal memory (expandable via MicroSD) and “high grade security solutions” (listed examples were device lock and wipe, secure intranet access and phone management).

The Nokia E6 is RRP $549.

Here’s a breathless description: “The phone is beautifully crafted, encased in glass and stainless steel and combines a full keypad with a high resolution touch display.”

And here’s a photo so you can judge for yourself:

The new Nokia E6 runs Symbian Anna.