Synnex eyes corporates for GPS deals

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Distributor Synnex is hoping a new strategic push into the global positioning system (GPS) market will help it expand further into government and corporate channels.

Synnex has begun a major retail push for the GPS equipment produced by its sister company Mio, but hopes that an expansion into new resellers would also allow it to gain potentially lucrative corporate business.

Speaking at a launch for the Mio GPS range in Sydney, Synnex Australia managing director Frank Sheu said that promotion of the Mio brand would extend through both traditional consumer channels and more business-oriented areas.

One element of that plan will be promoting local services such as end user support, a critical factor for corporates with travelling staff.

Mio also intended to integrate its GPS technology into handheld computers and smartphones for the local market, an approach is has pursued with some success in Asia.

While Synnex already has an extensive consumer network set up for the Mio products, including distribution to Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Domayne, it remains a niche player. Just 4 per cent of Mio's revenues currently come from Australia.

"Right now, Mio is a new brand in the Australian market," said Asia Pacific marketing director Rick Liao. Rival players in the space include Navman and TomTom GO, as well as broader IT brands such as Acer and HP.

Revenue from handheld devices has flattened in recent years due to stiff price competition, and value-added features such as GPS were being deployed to try and counter that trend and justify an increase in pricing for some units.

Analyst IDC credited the addition of GPS support as a critical factor in allowing German manufacturer Yakumo to grab the number five slot in global sales for the most recent quarter.
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