Following its move into the graphics cards market, memory distributor, Kingmax, has signed an exclusive deal with First International Computers (FIC) for its first barebone systems stock.
The deal will see the company push the Taiwanese PC vendor's Condor small form factor (SFF) PC into the burgeoning digital entertainment and LAN party markets.
Kingmax technical sales manager, Shawn Baker, said the success of the distributor's GeCube graphics card range had given the company the confidence to further expand out from its memory niche.
"We've always been in memory, but last year we picked up the GeCube graphics card which became the number one card in Australia over the last three quarters," he said.
According to Baker, the market was moving ever-more towards SFF PCs, especially with the release of Windows Media Centre Edition 2005 and the growing popularity of home theatre.
"The use of SFF PCs by the LANing community is also becoming more common as they don't want to cart around 10 or 15 kilo cases anymore," he said. "The LCD market has also grown a lot over the past couple of years and the SFF is the next phase of the trend of larger displays with smaller cases."
The pedigree of FIC also helped Kingmax make the decision to jump into the systems market, Baker said.
"FIC has done a lot in the OEM space with companies like Dell, HP and Compaq, and have been trying lately to push harder into the retail market," he said. "The Condor looks to be a very strong competitor against companies like Shuttle, AOpen and Abit - we wouldn't have looked at it otherwise."
While the barebone nature of the system was ideal for the distributor's system integrators, its genuine Intel motherboard would be a credibility boost in a market dominated by whitebox manufacturers, Baker said.
"The Intel name is one that no-one else can compete against," he said. "Whether you're Asus or Gigabyte, you can't beat the scalability of that motherboard brand-name."
Baker said it had sold out of 98 per cent of its first-order stock prior to its official release date.
The distributor would also be bundling a copy of Power Cinema, a cut down version of Media Centre, with the Condor to help push sales up to 2000 a month, Baker said.