Checksun scores low-cost motherboard distribution

Sydney-based components distributor Checksun has thrown its weight behind ASRock, an emerging motherboard vendor that has taken international markets by storm with its aggressive pricing.

ASRock was established as a subsidiary of motherboard vendor, Asustek Computer, to target price conscious consumers and users in emerging markets.

An industry analyst at Primasia Securities in Taipai, William Fong, said the subsidiary was set up to sell motherboards at prices that would compete with some of Asustek’s cheaper competitors such as EliteGroup Computer Systems (ECS).

Elitegroup had been a thorn in the side of leading motherboard makers, grabbing market share from rivals by setting lower prices for its motherboards, Fong said. While Asustek's motherboards sold for an average of about $US80, Elitegroup sold its motherboards for about $40 on average.

Checksun managing director, Bond Pan, said that he had signed a distribution agreement with ASRock. While the agreement was not necessarily exclusive, ASRock wanted Checksun to “dominate the Australian and New Zealand market”, Pan said.

He said Checksun had been asked to meet quarterly targets and upon doing so would continue to receive co-operative marketing assistance to jointly push the new brand in the region.

ECS, MSI and Gigabyte would be the motherboard vendors that the new vendor targets, Pan said, as ASRock’s pricing was “aggressive” by comparison. More importantly, the specifications of ASRock motherboards supported a wide spectrum of processor, memory and connectivity standards.

“ASRock is fully owned and organised by Asustek,” Pan said. “Asustek did not want to damage its own sales, so the two companies have targeted different markets. But we still have the comfort of knowing that while we are dealing with different people, the philosophy, the operations and the procedures of ASRock are still quite similar to their parent.”

Pan said the products had proved most popular among systems builders and the retail market.

“They have become very, very popular,” he said. “Every time we get a new shipment in - within two or three days they are all gone. We have not even advertised them yet, except for mentioning the products on our Web site.”

These customers were both existing Checksun customers and new customers attracted to the new brand, Pan said.

“It might be a low-price label, but the boards come with high specs and performance,” he said.

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