1 July 2003
Outdoor Radios(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2003)
Vol 4, 2003
Air Purifiers & Ionisers
Sounds for All Seasons
|Splashes are no problem
for this water resistant beach radio with interchangeable table stand or
sand stake (left) and AM/FM radio with active speaker system from Functional B Electronics Co Ltd
Variety, innovation and multiple features are the hallmarks of modern outdoor radios. These products are much sought after by suppliers of gifts and premiums worldwide who have invariably turned to Hong Kong-based manufacturers.
One globally recognised manufacturer of outdoor radios is P.S.L. Ltd. This Sweda Group company, which has been in business for about 25 years, makes two types of radios - outdoor and desktop. Its outdoor radios are primarily targeted at the gifts and premiums sector.
"Our in-house designers are very adept at developing eye-catching designs with useful features and gimmicks," says regional sales manager Kano Ha. P.S.L.'s outdoor radios include a mini radio with a scrolling message feature that is ideal for a company's advertising slogan; a handy-sized clip-on radio; and a bubble-shaped radio with a suction cup.
The radios are made by a workforce of about 800 at two factories in Shenzhen and Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. The electrical components are sourced from the mainland and Japan while the plastics come from the mainland. A quality-conscious company, both P.S.L.'s Hong Kong office and mainland factories are ISO 9001-certified.
P.S.L.'s products are either sold under the "PSL design" brand name or as OEM products in the US, Europe, Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Ha says clients can obtain a price quotation on request, adding that the company requires a minimum order of 100 pieces per model shipped two weeks after confirmation of an order.
Equally established in the sector is Grant Lloyd Audio Ltd. "We have been operating since 1985, successfully spotting new trends and incorporating these in our outdoor radios," explains director Fanny Cheng.
An OEM company that also makes other audio and electronic products, Grant Lloyd produces a total of 300,000-500,000 items a month using ICs sourced from Japan, the mainland and Taiwan and plastics from the mainland.
Grant Lloyd's two factories on the mainland, in Shenzhen and Dongguan, occupy a total area of 10,000 square metres and employ about 1,000 workers. The Hong Kong office is ISO 9001-certified.
Grant Lloyd recently launched a series of outdoor radios that includes the GL-2109 earphone radio (US$1.30 apiece); GL-2046 watch-cum-radio with calculator and photo frame (US$1.40); GL-3103 ballpoint pen with FM autoscan radio (US$2.40); GL-2008 watch-cum-radio (US$3); and the CT-06 cassette player with AM/FM radio for US$2.80.
All prices are FOB Hong Kong for a minimum 3,000-piece order shipped one month after order confirmation to main markets such as Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia.
"It is an extremely competitive field and one has to offer the best value for money," Chung says. "Customers expect ever more features, and we see outdoor radios offering innovations such as MP3 and CD players."
Also highly active is Palito (HK) Electronics Ltd, which launches new models every quarter using an experienced pool of in-house designers.
The one-year-old company makes a wide variety of FM autoscan and AM/FM radios at a 10,000-square-metre, 800-worker factory in Shenzhen using electronic components and plastic sourced from the mainland.
These include the PA-93 model AM-FM radio (US$0.59 apiece); PA-313 FM autoscan radio with digital clock (US$1.78); PA-2988 AM-FM radio (US$2.38); PA-2181 FM autoscan radio with torch (US$0.64); and the slim PA-189 FM autoscan radio with torch (US$0.98).
Prices are FOB Hong Kong for a minimum order of 3,000 pieces shipped 20 days after order confirmation. "The outdoor radios are sold under the Palito brand or as OEM products in the US and Europe," says marketing executive Samuel Tsang.
Also Shenzhen-based is Zonotec Int'l Ltd, which began operations on the mainland in 1997 before opening a Hong Kong office in early 2001. Its 500-worker, 20,000-square-metre factory procures ABS from the mainland and electronic parts from the mainland, Japan, Korea and Taiwan to produce about two million items a month.
Zonotec's outdoor radios include the FM autoscan radio models Z-92A, Z-92B and Z-92D featuring a built-in torch and speaker or earphones with a compass, LCD alarm clock or thermometer. Model Z-90 is an FM band waterproof radio with manual tuning that is ideal for use in the shower.
FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$1.00-1.60 for a minimum order of 3,000 pieces shipped 30 days after order confirmation. Zonotec's radios are currently sold under the Zonoki brand name in Europe, the US and Japan, but the firm has plans to broaden its sales in the world's most important market.
"We are trying to extend our market reach in the US with a range of innovative and attractively priced models," reveals marketing manager Louisa Wong.
This same never-ending commitment to innovation and price has made outdoor radios a surefire hit for many Hong Kong manufacturers, who are determined to ensure that consumers enjoy sweet sounds wherever and whenever they roam out of doors.
WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN
Functional B Electronics Co Ltd
Flat 4, 13/F, Blk B
Fuk Keung Ind Bldg
66 Tong Mi Rd
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Specialthing Int'l Co Ltd
Unit 7, 7/F, Blk A
Veristrong Ind Centre
34-36 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Sup-Prem Industrial Co Ltd
Unit 3, 6/F
Ming Fat Centre
1 Kin Fat St
Tuen Mun, New Territories
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