31 March 2004
Telephones(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 02,2004)
Vol 2, 2004
Home Theatre Systems
Marco Rona Int'l Ltd's recent telephone collection features streamlined designs in contrasting colours of black, white and red
Innovative design and additional features are becoming increasingly important to Hong Kong manufacturers keen to carve a niche for themselves in this highly competitive sector.
Five-year-old manufacturer Marco Rona Int'l Ltd, for example, prides itself on its designs, which are the brainchild of the company's two-man design team and feature such functions as last number redial, flash, mute, pause, ringer, TP switch option and reset function.
"We are like fishermen, constantly hoping for a big catch," marketing manager Bob Poon says of Marco Rona's telephones, which he describes as "pieces of art".
Poon is confident Marco Rona will be ensured of a big catch with the new Italian-style slim handset fashion phones to be launched in coming months.
"Our models are getting smaller," notes Poon, attributing this both to market trends as well as Marco Rona's individual style.
Models being launched in the firm's main markets in Southeast Asia, South America and Europe are about 20% smaller than current models, reflecting an ongoing trend to compact communications.
About 30% of the 50,000-100,000 pieces produced monthly by the 100 workers at Marco Rona's factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland are fashion phones. Minimum orders of 2,000 phones are delivered 35-60 days after order confirmation.
Similarly speedy in terms of meeting market demands is Good Youth Ltd, which employs a team of 20 designers and produces approximately 20,000 cordless telephones per month.
"Having this many designers gives us the advantage of being able to provide more ideas to our clients more quickly," explains general manager Michael Chan. "We can provide customers with a first design within a week while production can be completed within 60 days."
The OEM manufacturer places equal emphasis on providing added features such as a 20-metre range, caller ID and combination digital answering machine functions.
Three mainland suppliers provide the software for the ISO 9002-certified manufacturer, which requests minimum orders of 5,000 phones delivered in 30 days to main markets such as the US, Europe, South America and the Middle East.
However, it is cord telephones that rule the roost at 11-year-old Global Connect Electronics Ltd. "Cord models have a lower production cost, which means we can offer a lower cost to customers," says managing director Cally Lo, who claims that Global's prices have dropped 5-10% over the past two years.
Global also prides itself on its good customer relations, implementing such measures as free samples, four-colour gift boxes in blister or clamshell packaging at no additional cost and immediate notification of new products to existing clients.
Customers in Global's main markets in the Middle East, Europe, Canada and South America can expect delivery 25-30 days after confirmation of minimum orders of 3,000 units per model.
Caller ID is Global's most popular feature and is sported by 30% of the 250,000 telephones that come off the assembly line at the 5,000-square-metre, 800-plus worker factory in Shenzhen.
Other popular features to be found on telephones produced by the ISO 9001, TUV, CE and FCC-certified company include 16-digit LCD, 16 types of ringers, calculator, three sets of alarms and do-not-disturb functions.
Design is also a prime consideration at Aztech Systems Ltd, which has an 80-strong design team that includes cosmetic, hardware, mechanical, electrical and software designers.
"A lot of companies outsource their software and hardware but we do it all in-house," notes business development manager Cora Fok, adding that this means Aztech can also offer lower prices to its main markets in Europe, the US and Asia.
The 18-year-old ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and CCIB-certified manufacturer believes that its future lies in Digital European Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) telephones.
Aztech began OEM production of DECT sets three years ago and has a series of four phones which offer features such as colour LCD, 12-minute recording/answering function, hands-free, SMS, FM option, alarm and weather functions.
The company has so much faith in DECT phones that it is building a third, 42,000-square-metre factory that is expected to open in 2005, boosting its Dongguan production site to 78,000 square metres employing more than 1,000 workers.
All three plants will produce Aztech's own designs, which account for 80% of the 500,000 telephones the firm manufactures monthly and sells in minimum quantities of 1,000 units delivered 2-6 weeks after order confirmation.
Given service and features like these, it's certain that Hong Kong telephone manufacturers will be kept busy ringing up large orders from satisfied buyers worldwide.
WRITTEN BY TAMARA CHEUNG
Aztech Systems Ltd
Rms 2-10, 3/F
1 Science Park East Ave
Hong Kong Science Park
Pak Shek Kok
Shatin, New Territories
Ever Bright Plastic
Rms G & H, 22/F
Koon Wo Ind Bldg
63-75 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Industrial Co Ltd
Rm 3, 7/F
EW Int'l Tower
120-124 Texaco Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
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