Digital Cube has won widespread recognition as Korea's leading convergence solutions provider and gadget maker by winning the IFA Technology Innovation Award 2009.
PMP Market Leader
Digital Cube (www.digital-cube.co.kr), co-chaired by Kim Tae-sub and Chae Jong-won, is the country's leading IT innovation firm. It has led the digital convergence solutions market with a more than 60 percent share of the domestic PMP market.
The firm was founded as Digital Square in July 1999. It made MP3 players at first, but soon changed its name to Digital Cube and switched to the production of PMPs, mindful of the growth potential of those products. In 2004, only two years after it developed its own PMP, Digital Cube released the i-Station PMP 1000 and grabbed more than 70 percent market share, thereby emerging as the market leader. It also succeeded in captivating consumers with other brands it released, including the V43.
The domestic PMP market started growing fast in May 2005 when Digital Cube released its iStation i2, the world's first PMP model for car navigation. With this PMP's release, a new trend of convergence solutions began sweeping the PMP market and small and medium-sized enterprises began making inroads into the market. As a result, the market also grew fast. Monthly sales of PMPs in the domestic market increased 20-fold from about 1,000 on average in 2004 to 20,000 year-on-year. Meanwhile, Digital Cube reached an important milestone in May of this year as its accumulated PMP sales exceeded the 1 million mark, a first in the Korean industry.
Digital Cube has grown so fast in such a short period of time thanks to its trend-setting innovative products that appeal to the younger generation who are not afraid of change. In 2008, the University News Network (UNN) chose Digital Cube's iStation brand as the best PMP brand during the 2008 UNN Awards based on the outcome of a survey of nationwide college students about their preferred enterprises and brands. Digital Cube has also won widespread recognition as the maker of leading brands as its products were chosen by Money Today, an online economic newspaper, as a hit brand during the first half of 2009; by Sports World as a popular consumer brand in 2009; and by ET News as the best brand in 2009.
Quick in meeting consumer needs based on innovative technology and know-how, Digital Cube has kept trying to consolidate its status as the market leader by releasing one multimedia device after another furnished with navigation, DMB, electronic dictionary and PMP functions.
Other hit products developed by Digital Cube include new car navigation models such as U7, N7 & N7TU, and G7, and the Udic electronic dictionary series. Among these products, the iStation U7 car navigation system has gained high popularity as it provides Eco Driving Mode for drivers. This allows them to save up to 20% on fuel costs. It also has a useful supply of traffic information for drivers based on TPEG, a real-time traffic information service. Finally, it comes with a terrestrial DMB system.
Digital Cube is making all-out efforts to maximize consumer satisfaction by stepping up services at its 13 nationwide iStation service centers including iStation Plaza, the service center that has opened at the company's main office building in Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
Digital Cube Merges with Telson
In October 2008, Digital Cube merged with Telson, Korea's leading mobile phone and multimedia gadget maker, thereby emerging as a next-generation display production base and comprehensive convergence solutions provider.
As a result of the merger, Digital Cube is now equipped with a mobile device production system, including 450MHz bar style cellphones, the WLL wireless gadget, and a 3D display production system which includes a 3D theater system and a 3D LCD module. Digital Cube is now determined to grab a larger share of domestic and overseas markets by releasing a variety of high-end, trendy products, while taking advantage of both its strong points and those of Telson.
3D Video and Mobile Devices
Digital Cube has set a goal to make inroads into overseas markets in Asia and the Americas starting 2009. Digital Cube has performed well, especially in the 3D video and mobile projects, with the former based on the 3D video technology and production system of KDC Corporation, the mother company of Digital Cube, and the latter based on Telson's mobile device production system.
The 3D video technology is expected to boost the related industries rapidly, considering that the sector has been chosen by the government as a one of 22 new growth engine industries which it will promote.
In 2004, KDC Corp. signed a strategic agreement with Master Image, a 3D video firm, and set up a production system of 3D gadgets and content. In this regard, Real Scope, which was founded in July this year, will take care of the production and distribution of 3D content. As a result, Digital Cube is now furnished with a streamlined system ranging from design, to production, to distribution.
Digital Cube has already concluded business contracts with multiplex operators such as CGV and Primus Cinema, and signed memoranda of understanding with foreign businesses in the United States, China and Japan. About 250 pieces of Digital Cube equipment have been exported overseas. For example, a Hollywood 3D film is being screened with the Digital Cube equipment in about 10 countries around the world. In March this year, Digital Cube imported Woo Phones, which it had developed in cooperation with Hitachi, through KDDI, Japan's second largest communication firm. Digital Cube has sold about 300,000 units of the phone worth W5.1 billion (US$4.1 million) this year.
Now furnished with a full production lineup for an 800-inch 3D digital theater system, a 3D phone, a PMP, and car navigation system, Digital Cube is planning to produce a PMP with a 4.3-inch 3D display and a 3D home video system.
Digital Cube has the country's fourth largest mobile production base which is capable of producing 5 million mobile units per year, and a top-class production facility that has achieved TTA certification.
The company signed a large-scale OEM export contract with Viettel, a Vietnamese mobile communication service provider, over the supply of 250,000 GSM quad band WLL cell phones in July. There will be an additional supply of about 750,000 units on an ODM basis by 2010.
Because of this export contract, Digital Cube has secured a beachhead for making inroads into nearby markets in Cambodia and Laos. It also plans to seek ways to supply multimedia handsets such as PMPs there based on Viettel's communications infrastructure.
"Nothing But New!" - This is the slogan with which Digital Cube is going to participate in IFA 2009, one of the world's three largest IT shows, which will be held in Berlin, Germany from Sept. 4 to 9. The company plans to accent its display booth with orange and white color tones to symbolize its new vision.
For this year's IFA show, Digital Cube will display various kinds of digital convergence solution devices with smaller but more varied multimedia and online functions, and more connectivity solutions. The company is resolved to introduce itself to global business partners and general visitors as the leader in the PMP market.
During this year's IFA show, Digital Cube will introduce the iStation T4, a new PMP product made with new technology, for the first time in Europe.
Digital Cube Chairman Kim Tae-sub said, "We'll write a new history about Digital Cube's successful performance overseas by making inroads in earnest into the European market, an important vantage market, through the upcoming IFA 2009 show. From 2009, we're determined to advance into more overseas markets, and emerge as a genuine global leader in the convergence solutions market. We will be the company which can create added value through consistent innovative activities amid a difficult environment."
Meanwhile, Digital Cube has performed admirably over the past years, achieving W85.3 billion (US$68.8 million) in sales in 2006 and W132.5 billion (US$106.9 million) in 2007. With the hope of creating synergy effects as a result of its merger with Telson, the company has set a goal to achieve about W200 billion (US$161.3 million) in sales this year.