US-based memory manufacturer, Kingston Technology, has fired a shot across the bows of Australian market leaders with the introduction of lifetime warranties on flash cards instead of the five-year industry standard term.
The move is designed to make a bold statement about the quality of Kingston’s products and after sales service, according to its Australia country manager, Keith Hamilton.
“We started shipping flash cards at lower volumes and high prices,” Hamilton said. “When we got aggressive we started buying and selling more and the prices came down. Now we’re competing with the market leaders.
“We did the same with our memory modules in the whitebox market. They try us, they like us, and we end up with strong, lasting relationships.” The decision echoes the accelerating industry trend to market heavily on the quality of traditionally volatile products in order to win share of markets with little room for variety.
“In flash memory the pricing difference isn’t that great,” managing director of Kingston distributor Simms International, Danny Moore, said. “In this market it’s important to have a manufacturer that differentiates.”
“It’s great to see a partner of ours with such confidence in its products,” Ingram Micro’s business manager, Rodney Thorne, said.
Other leading memory makers told ARN they had no plans to extend warranties on their offerings in the immediate future.
The Kingston lifetime warranty is valid for any Compact Flash, MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital or Smart Media products manufactured before January 1, 2004.
It replaces Kingston’s previous five-year cover.