Friday, October 27, 2006

The Odd Couple: Alienware & the Phantom

Where would this blog be without Infinium Labs? The soap opera just won't die. On Monday, Phantom Entertainment (aka Infinium Labs, the company that never brought you the Phantom console) announced that Alienware has ordered the Phantom Lapboard for its PC gear product line & Media Center PCs.

The Phantom Lapboard is a wireless keyboard & laser mouse combo that enables users to work or play games up to 30 feet away from your system. Check out a quick demo from this month's DigitalLife conference:



This is (shockingly) good news for 2 reasons. First off, it appeared the November launch was in jeopardy. In an interview last week, CEO Greg Koler indicated that the Lapboards had not yet been manufactured. Second and most important, this is the first time in 2 years that Phantom Entertainment has partnered with a legitimate, well-respected company. Alienware is one of the most popular gaming manufacturers in the business; so popular, in fact, that it was bought out by Dell Computers earlier this year in a deal exceeding $1 billion. Alienware moves product, and including the Lapboard with its gaming machines means plenty of potential revenue for Phantom Entertainment.

From an investing point of view, this may be an excellent risk/reward play with PHEI's stock down 90% (not a mistype) for the year. The stock is priced with the expectation that Phantom Entertainment will not survive into 2007 (much less ever launch a product). If the Lapboard hits the shelves in the coming weeks, $.02 should be an easy target.

Although this is appears to be great news for Phantom Entertainment, as always we'll believe it when we see it! With no funding, we're not exactly sure how they will come up with the funds to build the Lapboards. Preorders are being taken on Phantom.net, but credit cards are not being charged until the product is delivered. Hopefully PHEI is following Alienware's original business model of "Pay first, build later".

I've contacted Phantom Entertainment's PR department at pr@phantom.net with these concerns and will post their response if one is ever received. Cross your fingers!

7 Comments:

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like good news to me. but you're exactly right, how are they going to pay for all this? was there any payment from alienware?

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Eric Bergen said...

Not surprisingly, Phantom Entertainment has yet to respond to my email inquiry on their Investor Relations site. Considering there's only 5 people left at the company, I doubt anyone is checking their email even though it says:

"The appropriate Phantom representative will contact you within the next 48 hours"

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

As the leader in gaming PC's, Alienware has the most to gain from this. Still, I can't believe anyone would invest in Infinium Labs! They *must* know something we don't, what else can it be? I'd be willing to bet Alienware has a slightly similar product they can't get working but will pass on, has already invested too much behind the scenes to pull out, or thinks putting a big name behind the Phantom might force something to come about. Anyway you look at it, something's up for sure!

Keep us posted.

 
At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say...do you guys think Alienware may acquire the company and fund the project themselves? It seems they've only ordered a few of these, maybe just to check em out. A buyout by Alienware would be crazy.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Eric B said...

Don't see that happening. PHEI has $10s of millions of liabilities. You're not only buying an unproven product, but a ton of debt. Not very expensive though.

 
At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wwell as far as this phantom game service, I think seeing is believing. And the other is that where the hell is the FTC when their is consumer fradulent companies who claim things and never produce. Well thats another BS office job in the red tape of the Government. too many cigars geting smoked in the ovary ovice. heheh.

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe people still think this is a real company. How could alienware get duped, I thought those guys knew what they were doing.

 

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