TelecomWorldWire August 10, 2006 Haladjian's Nabaztag Wi-Fi rabbit targets US consumers TELECOMWORLDWIRE-10 August 2006-Haladjian's Nabaztag Wi-Fi rabbit targets US consumers ©1994-2006 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com The Nabaztag Wi-Fi rabbit has been unveiled by Violet, a French company 55% owned by French entrepreneur Rafi Haladjian and 30% by Banexi Ventures, a private equity arm of French bank BNP Paribas. Nabaztag means 'rabbit' in Armenian, which is the first language of Haladjian, the man who conceived the idea. The rabbit is able to read out e-mails and mobile phone text messages, provide alerts to stock news and offer traffic updates through Internet feeds from a wireless Wi-Fi network. Basic Internet feeds, such as certain e-mail reading, stock market performance and weather forecasts are free, while calls and text messages are charged to the sender, although text messages are free for premium service subscribers. The Wi-Fi rabbit, which is made in China, costs EUR115 in France, £80 in the UK and USD150 in the US, has already been sold in Belgium, France, the UK and Switzerland and is now being targeted at the US. Nabaztag is expected to prove popular among certain groups of consumers, and Haladjian said he expects sales to reach 150,000 by the end of 2006, 400,000 in 2007 and around 2m by the end of 2008.