12 April 2006
Memory Sticks(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2006)
|Advanced Sun Wah Electronic Co Ltd specialises in USB products such as flash disks with large memories|
Memory disks are fast becoming everyday objects highly sought-after by computer users keen to carry their information but not their machines. Stiff competition ensures Hong Kong manufacturers keep coming up with ways to make their products stand out in the market, either by turning them into gift items, making them easy to carry or adding extra functions.
Three-year-old Hotronic Ltd, for instance, manufactures USB flash disks in a variety of shapes designed to be functional and/or fun. "We have a red-coloured, heart-shaped stick that is popular as a gift, especially for Valentine's Day," explains chief marketing officer Danny Ho. "Another comes with a genuine leather case ideal for carrying in a handbag, while a third model incorporates a ballpoint pen."
All these disks have a capacity of 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB or 1GB. Features include hot plug-and-play, more than 10 years' data retention, bootable function and an LED indicator.
Ho says Hotronic carries around 50 models. "About half of our production of 80,000 pieces per month goes to Europe, with about 25% each to the US and Asia-Pacific," he adds.
The disks are manufactured in the company's Chinese mainland plant, using top-brand ICs from Taiwan, memory chips from Korea and plastic for the cases from the mainland.
FOB prices are available on request for minimum orders of 500 units, delivered seven days after order confirmation to the US, Europe, the UAE, Egypt, Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
"We focus on strict QC - our products may not be the lowest price, but the price is reasonable and the quality is excellent," claims Ho, adding that Hotronic has its own HOTronic brand.
Colour is an important differentiating feature for Advanced Sun Wah Electronic Co Ltd, which boasts around 20 memory stick models and a monthly production of more than 50,000 units.
"For example, one of our models comes in a choice of translucent green, blue, red, black, orange or clear," explains sales manager Anny Ma, adding that the 10-year-old company also offers different coloured rubber casings. "We can also make a customised colour casing for plastic models in quantities of more than 1,000 pieces."
Available in 32, 64, 128, 256 and 512MB, and 1GB and 2GB capacities, the plug-and-play personal removable USB flash drives boast shake and electromagnetic wave protection.
Other functions include a write/delete protection switch, password and encryption functions, the ability to be rewritten 100,000 times and 10-year data retention.
Advanced Sun Wah has its own Espidi brand and provides FOB Hong Kong prices on request.
"We have a 1,000-square-metre-plus manufacturing plant on the mainland," Ma says, noting that delivery time for 500 units is 10 days after order confirmation, while 5,000 memory sticks take two weeks. "Our minimum order is only 100 pieces - in fact, this is one of our major selling points."
Industry veteran Keysbond Ltd has been in the electronics business for 18 years, during which time executive director Mona Cheung claims it has become a one-stop manufacturer.
"We have in-house software and hardware development teams and excellent relationships with suppliers, which enables us to get better prices and first-hand information of new components," she insists.
Keysbond's 32-512MB USB storage media also double as key chains - making them easy to carry around as they measure 36x17x7.2mm and weigh around five grams.
Features include USB 2.0 high-speed data transfer; security partitioning function with password; LED access indicator; hot swap; USB plug-and-play compatibility; shock resistance and noise-free operation.
"They come in either a clamshell or a deluxe box, with the latter also featuring a deluxe hand strap," Cheung explains, noting that the sticks are available in a silver metallic finish or a variety of colours and company logos can be added.
Keysbond manufactures its Restrictions on Hazardous Substances-compliant products at an ISO 9001-certified factory on the mainland. "We export worldwide, with the majority going to North America and Europe," Cheung says, noting that FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$8-26.
Netel Technology Ltd has taken a completely different tack with its flash memory Netel WebPhone - a plug-and-play USB network phone device that can be used to make IDD calls and also incorporates a 128MB flash memory.
"Point-to-point connection is via broadband or 56Kbps narrow-band dial-up Internet access with no IDD charges for long-distance calls 24 hours a day," account manager Ng Ka Sing explains. "The point-to-multipoint connection is via our platform to any phone worldwide with competitive rates."
Available with the Netel brand or OEM, the WebPhone was launched last year and is already "selling well" in the Philippines, Taiwan, the US and Germany. "Minimum order is 100 pieces, with delivery about one month after order confirmation," Ng says, adding that the FOB Hong Kong unit price is US$48.
From key chains to phones the humble memory stick is becoming an indispensable piece of equipment for people on the go - thanks to the ingenuity of Hong Kong manufacturers.
WRITTEN BY ANN WILLIAMS
Advanced Sun Wah Electronic Co Ltd
Rm C, 6/F
Sheung Fook Bldg
92-98 Fuk Wing St
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
47 Hung To Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
12 Ka Yip St
Metro Centre I
32 Lam Hing St
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Netel Technology Ltd
255 King's Rd