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Cuts out disties to flog memory to systems builders

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Kingston Technology has started selling memory direct to system builders over the Web. Through a three-month trial, Kingston is selling its own and other vendor memory under the name "ValueRAM" in the US, by-passing the distribution channel. Started in June, the scheme competes in the broker market selling to white-box builders. US resellers buying ValueRAM memory do not get the Kingston marketing funds or support –- there is no returns policy or price protection. Alison Heath, Kingston UK sales director, said: "We are testing the concept in the US -– it is designed to sell generic memory to white box assembly." Heath said there were no plans to bring the idea to Europe this year, even if the scheme proved successful. No figures will be available to gauge response until after the pilot finishes at the end of August. "It is aimed at a specific market that some of our distributors in the UK are addressing," admitted Heath. "But the model is different here -- we have very loyal distribution partners in the UK." Kingston's main distributors in the UK are Datrontech and Microtronica. Kingston started selling its own memory products online in January through a link to the Action Computer Supplies Web site. Since then it has signed Computacenter and Compel, is due to announce similar deals with SMC, Dabs Direct and Simply Computers. ®

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