17 June 2004
Radio Alarms(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 03,2004)
Vol 3, 2004
Ringing Up Profits
AM/FM sensor touch LED alarm clock radios from Canton Int'l Enterprise Ltd are hot items in its major European and American markets
The heyday of the radio may be well and truly over, but this old faithful still manages to retain a following thanks to the addition of many useful features such as alarms.
As usual, Hong Kong manufacturers, such as Canton Int'l Enterprise Ltd, have cleverly targeted this niche market by producing a range of radio alarms with eye-catching designs.
Canton may be a relatively new player, having been established in 2001, but it has quickly emerged as a significant force in the sector with a popular range of radios with alarms.
"Our radio alarms range has a good reputation in markets like the UK, the US and South Africa, and we are gradually making our presence felt in other markets," says marketing executive Christina Liu. "Two of our AM/FM sensor touch LED alarm clock radios - the CR-299 and CR-205 - are hot favourites in our major European and North American markets."
Spurred by this success, the company launched another AM/FM sensor touch LED alarm clock radio, the CR-171, late last year. "These models are winners due to their attractive features as well as competitive prices," Liu maintains.
FOB Hong Kong prices for these models range from "about US$3.00-4.45" each for minimum orders of 3,000 units shipped 30-40 days after receipt of 30% of the order value.
They are manufactured at a 10,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland that was ISO 9001-certified in 2003 and currently employs about 600 workers, who produce a million units a month.
Canton, which boasts an annual turnover of US$3m, is following in the footsteps of Wai Fung Electronics Co Ltd, a veteran maker of digital radios with alarm clocks that was established in 1992.
"We are very optimistic about the prospects for small AM and/or FM radios with digital frequency displays and attractive features like detachable speakers, due to strong demand from the gifts and premiums sector," says assistant manager David Yeung. "In our main markets in Europe we are seeing good demand, buoyed by a firmer economic outlook."
Wai Fung makes about 100,000 units a month at its mainland plant in Shenzhen using locally-sourced components, and sells its digital radio alarms under its Super Sound brand name or on an OEM basis.
The company, which bases its FOB Hong Kong price according to client specifications, has a minimum order requirement of 2,000 pieces with delivery in approximately 30 days.
Equally adept at producing innovative designs is CHP Int'l Co Ltd, which has a diverse product portfolio including radio alarms, corded phones, cassette players and CD players.
"Despite the increasing popularity of CD players in the last 3-4 years, our CR-7760 model dual alarm clock radio has been a successful niche product in countries as diverse as the US, Germany, Israel, the Philippines and Japan," notes marketing manager Dave Wong.
Wong claims that CHP's in-house designers and good quality control enable the company to offer "better quality and a more competitive price", citing model CR-7760 with its FOB Hong Kong price tag of about US$5.50.
"This particular model is one of our special items and is sold only to Wal-Mart in order to have better control over design," Wong says, noting that the company has developed a good understanding of its key markets since its establishment in 1995.
CHP Plus and CHP Phone Plus are two brand names the company uses for its various products, which are manufactured at a 1,500-worker, 10,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan.
The factory produces about 600,000 units a month, which are available in minimum quantities of about 2,000 pieces per colour with shipment 30-45 days after order confirmation.
Similarly enthusiastic is Zonotec Int'l Ltd, which over the past three years has established itself as a producer of quality electronic products including digital radio alarms with clocks.
"After carefully studying the feedback from our major markets in Europe and the US, our R&D team produces 1-2 new models a month," says marketing manager Louisa Wong, adding, "our products have been very successful in the gifts and premiums sector".
She adds that Zonotec's model Z-610 FM auto scan radio with LCD alarm clock and built-in speaker that costs FOB Hong Kong US$1.65 has been "quite successful" in its key markets for three years.
Two of Zonotec's new models include the Z-93 model rugby ball-shaped FM radio with LCD alarm clock and green backlight (US$1.80 FOB Hong Kong) and Z-92C FM auto scan radio with earphones, LCD alarm clock and light (US$1.30 FOB Hong Kong).
Zonotec's products are sold under the Zonoki brand name in its main markets, and the company has a minimum order requirement of 1,000 pieces for shipment 30 days after order confirmation.
The company produces a total of one million mini-radios at its 20,000-square-metre factory in the mainland's Shenzhen, using locally-sourced ABS and electronic components.
Showing once again that Hong Kong manufacturers are successfully ringing up new orders from around the world by adding innovative features to more mature product lines.
WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN
Daiwa Denshi (HK) Ltd
Rm P, 15/F
Universal Ind Centre
19-21 Shan Mei St
Fo Tan, New Territories
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