Kingston – the thing to do with MEMORY! What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when we say “Kingston”? Perhaps the first pendrive you brought during your college days? Or the one you are using right now to transfer data from your laptop? Well, quite as a fact, Kingston Technology is the brand name associated with all things memory. Interestingly, it’s been 25 years in the market since 1987 and Kingston today has gone on to become the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products with over 50% market shares and the top USB drive company in the world. Wow, that’s really something! Most of us know Kingston as the manufacturers of memory products. But what’s beyond that? How did the company begin its journey? Did you know the journey began in a garage? And who were those men who took the initiatives? How did it all happen? And what is the current market status as per sales figures and comparisons with its contemporary organizations? These and more…in the lines to follow…
Beginning: Kingston Technology grew out of a severe shortage of surface-mount memory chips in the high-tech marketplace in the 1980s. Determined to find a solution, founders John Tu and David Sun combined their unique engineering expertise and designed a revolutionary new Single In-Line Memory Module (SIMM) that utilized readily available, older through-hole components. This meeting of minds gave birth to a new technology, a new industry standard and on October 17, 1987, a new company.
Milestones and “memories”: Reliability has become the cornerstone of the Kingston product marketing strategy. To establish Kingston’s reliability, John Tu and David Sun together took the step to differentiate the company from all other players in the market by adopting 100 percent testing under a severe testing process developed in 1989, resulting in assured quality and a leadership position in the market. It took 5 years before Kingston was ranked #1 in 1992 by Inc. magazine as the fastest-growing privately held company in America. It went on expanding into networking and storage product lines and in 1994 introduced DataTraveler and DataPak protable products. It was also at this time in 1994 thatKingstonachieved the rare feat of becoming ISO 9000 certified on its first attempt. With impressive revenue of $489 million in just 7 years, the company found itself featured in Forbes magazine ranked #367 among the “The 500 Largest Private Companies in theU.S.” Of course, the company’s biggest moment was in 1995 when it entered the prestigious Billion Dollar club. For the first time ever, Kingston ads with the headline “Thanks a Billion!” and a listing of all Kingston employees were featured in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times and Orange County Register increasing the brand’s visibility and making it a name synonymous with memory. In 1996, Kingstonhad joined hands with Toshiba to co-market memory upgrades for Toshiba’s PCs. This was the first time that a PC OEM and a memory manufacturer had teamed up to create a co-branded module. Kingstonthen marked 10 years by expanding its territory to include the European market. In 1997, Kingston’s European headquarters were set up in the UK. A company’s employees are perhaps their best brand ambassadors. Therefore, when in 1998, Kingstonwas ranked 2nd in the list of “100 best companies to work for in theUnited States.” Clearly, that made a huge impact in terms of brand value andKingston’s workforce grew stronger and bigger with each passing year. The company soon set up its APAC headquarters inTaiwanand its presence grew in the APAC market as well. In 2004, iSuppli rankedKingstonas the number one memory module manufacturer for the third-party memory market.Kingstonwon this accolade consecutively for the next couple of years. Over the years,Kingstonis ranked as the leading player in this market. In 2005,Kingstonlaunched the world’s largest memory module manufacturing facility inShanghai,China. To service local markets efficiently and respond swiftly to market changes, in addition to the Beijing office, in 2006 Kingston set up the India office in Mumbai and set up its local office in Vietnam in 2009. And today: Kingston has grown to be the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products. With global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston employs more than 4,000 people worldwide. Regarded as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in America” by Fortune magazine, Kingston’s tenets of respect, loyalty, flexibility and integrity create an exemplary corporate culture. Kingston believes that investing in employees is essential and that each individual employee is a vital part of the company’s success. In 2011, the company reported record revenue of $6.5 billion for 2010 – the highest annual revenue ever forKingston. Today the company has grown to be the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products with more than half the global market share. With global headquarters inFountain Valley,California,Kingstonemploys more than 4,000 people worldwide. Combining one of the most extensive and stringent testing processes in the memory industry, exceptional free tech support centre and a consistent roll-out of innovative technologies, Kingston has continually set industry standards of quality and reliability throughout its history.Kingstonremains committed to exceeding industry standards with every new development while maintaining the signature reliability of its products.
The market and how Kingston is perceived: Kingstonhas built itself as a brand through one solid value – TRUST. This value reflects what John Tu and David Sun, the founders of this company, strongly believe in, and it has been the core brand spirit between employees, suppliers, channel partners, and consumers. All the stakeholders trustKingstonbecause of whichKingstonhas been growing since its inception. Kingston trusts its employees to deliver their best performance and to be dedicated to the brand; Kingston’s employees trust that the company has the vision to grow year by year. This ensures a fair, reputable and safe workplace.Kingstonalso trusts the suppliers to provide high-quality components, continuous supply, and to develop innovative technologies to keep pace with market trends. The suppliers trust Kingston because of its healthy finance, strong inventory digestion and management philosophy. Kingston sees suppliers as partners and always digests inventory in difficult time; Kingston trusts channel partners to consistently recommend Kingston products as the best solutions and also pass on Kingston’s brand values to their customers. The channel partners trust Kingston to provide competitive pricing, top-rated products, continuous supply, satisfied after-sales service, and the solutions to meet various demands of different market segments. The end-users trustKingston’s reliability, quality, and reasonable pricing that competitors can rarely match.
Some of the products lined up…
1. Kingston Wi-Drive
The Kingston Wi-Drive comes with integrated wi-fi and up to four hours of battery life and offers pocket sized portable storage. It makes file sharing on Apple devices very easy – these include the iPod Touch (Gen 3 and 4), iPhone (3G, 3GS and 4G) and iPad. Accessing or sharing your personal media has never been easier! With Wi-Drive, you can add another 16GB or 32GB of space accessed wirelessly from your digital device and the content can even be shared with two other people so you are no longer limited to the space available within your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. What’s even better is that through the Kingston Wi-Drive app from the AppStore, three users can simultaneously watch movies, listen to music and view photos or documents. The product also won the award for Most Innovative Flash Consumer Application at the Flash Memory Summit inSanta Clara,Californiathis year. 2. HyperX SSD Kingston’s HyperX SSD combines the latest SandForce controller technology with premium NAND Flash, reducing load times while increasing performance and endurance. It provides high speed SATA Rev. 3.0 (3GB/sec) transfer speeds for larger bandwidth, which power users need for advanced gaming, multitasking and multi-media computing power. Kingston’s HyperX SSD lets users load games and applications faster, increase frames per second and quickly transfer and edit large media files. It’s cool, silent and requires less power and no additional cooling requirements. HyperX SSD uses an advanced wear leveling technology that distributes writes evenly across all the flash blocks in the SSD to maximize overall drive endurance. The HyperX SSD is available in two capacities – 120 GB and 240 GB.
3. DataTraveler 6000 The DataTraveler 6000 (DT6000) from Kingston guarantees data protection with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, Level 3 validation and 100% encryption. For financial service organizations and government agencies that need the strongest data protection in mobile storage devices, the DT6000 meets data-at-rest regulations and is the most secure USB Flash drive available on the market. The drive is available in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB capacities. The drive features a titanium-coated stainless steel casing and is water resistant. Supported operating systems include Windows 7,Vista, XP, and Mac OS X v10.5+.
Latest achievement by Kingston: Last year, Kingston had announced phenomenal sales figures for high-performance HyperX product line. It was last year when HyperX sales figures had almost tripled, which reflected the strong demand of Kingston’s high-end memory module products in India. Kingston announced that the Romanian overclocking team, Lab501, achieved three new world records with the world’s fastest dual channel memory kit, Kingston HyperX 2544MHz. The new records were set on December 3, 2011, by Matei Mihatoiu aka “Matose”, Tudor Badica aka “Monstru” and Razvan Fatu aka “Micutzu”, the three Romanian overclocking champions from the world renowned Lab501 team. The records were achieved in an overclocking event organized in the eMAG showroom in Bucharest, Romania, in front of approximately 100 overclocking enthusiasts and two local TV crews. The highest record achieved was 3600MHz at CL10, which stands as the world’s highest memory frequency using DDR3 memory. During the same event, the Lab501 team also managed to achieve world records of 3479MHz at CL9 and 3275MHz at CL8, using liquid nitrogen to cool the modules down to -196°C.