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Giga-byte smart phone waits for Canadian debut

After 20 years in business, motherboard manufacturer designs new products to upgrade customers' lives as well as their businesses

Taipei, Taiwan – Known primarily for its motherboards in North America, Giga-byte Technology Group is expanding its product line to include notebooks, smart phones and a couple of other products that are not the norm.

Similar to Asustek, Gigabyte has a separate OEM/ODM business unit. Over the past few years, Giga-byte has been busy creating a diverse product line including communications products, desktop servers, multimedia devices, peripherals, the G-Style notebook and sub-notebook and its GSmart smart phones.

Giga-byte claims to have the first GPS smart phone for business. The GSmart MS820 phone uses GPS technology to record an entire trip, which can then be shared online. The phone is targeted at business and travelers because of its tracking capabilities. The unit can also take geographically tagged photos from a built-in five mega pixel camera.

“With the GSmart you can ditch your digital camera because it has five mega pixels,” said Christine Chen, senior marketing specialist for Giga-byte. Its motion sensor gives the GSmart anti-vibration features for clearer photos in all situations, Chen said.

The smart phone can be operated using a finger touch graphical interface. The built-in motion sensors enable the unit to feature motion-based video games.

Don’t expect the GSmart to be available in Canada anytime soon, however. Sarah Su, the GSmart marketing manager at Giga-byte, said that the company is late to the market and because of its limited resources would rather concentrate on Taiwan and European. She added that Giga-byte is considering the North American market, but not for at least another year.

With gross revenues of $478 million along with an employee base of 8,218, Gigabyte is also making an attempt to enter the IT accessory market with its Roll Pad.

“When you look at the Roll Pad it is not apparent as to what it is,” said Johnson Su, the product manager of the Roll Pad. Inspired by the bamboo roll that was used by people in the Far East to document history, the Roll Pad is intended to help cool down the notebook.

According to Johnson Su, as notebooks became slimmer and lighter vendors compromised space and so cooling systems have shrunk, and don’t cool down the notebook as previous models did. “This Roll Pad drops the heat down by ten degrees,” Johnson Su said. The product also helps the user to tilt the notebook.

Giga-byte has an interesting channel strategy for the Roll Pad. It’s targeted at the notebook case maker channel. Johnson Su added that there is an environmental play as well with Roll Pad. The product only uses two materials (aluminum and silicon) and it uses no power. The materials can be easily recycled.

Giga-byte also introduced the Glee Cube, a device that enables users to watch TV anywhere you have an Internet connection, or on your mobile phone.