By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: A new flash memory card brand which launched globally in Australia last night, Tomato Flash, has predicted it will become the largest supplier of flash memory card products to the Australian market within five years with 40 per cent market share, displacing SanDisk as the market leader.

The new Tomato Flash brand is wholly-owned by Taiwan’s Dynacard, a 15-year veteran of flash memory manufacturing with a $4.8 billion turnover in 2006 and OEM arrangements with many of the world’s leading flash memory card brands.

Australia has been nominated as the test market for a global roll-out of the brand in 2007, with IT distributor Mint Wireless taking on the ambitious task of making the brand number one locally.

“We will pursue an aggressive marketing campaign over the next two years – it will be edgy, cheeky and youthful. But we will also have the product quality and reliability to boot. We will make Tomato Flash number one in the next five years by committing to our reseller partners to support them every step of the way,” said Mint Wireless executive director, Andrew Teoh.

Melbourne-based distributor Adeal, which manages the Samsung and Leica camera accounts in Australia, will spearhead the push through the consumer electronics channel as a sub-distributor, while Mint Wireless will concentrate on the IT and telco channels.

Mint also hopes to establish supply arrangements with the petrol convenience channel to have Tomato flash cards in service stations around the country.

Products in the Tomato Flash range will include SD cards, Memory Stick products, Compact Flash cards, USB drives, card readers and other innovative card designs like the world-first Power SD card – the Russian Doll of the memory card world, packing a Micro SD and Mini SD inside a standard format SD card.

The products are already available through selected IT resellers but no major electrical retailers have agreed to stock Tomato Flash so far.

Mint hopes Adeal will be able to build a distribution network based on its existing relationships with CE retailers.

“We are in discussions with the Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and some other major retailers, and we are a long way down the track with some of them so you will see the products pop up in some of those stores soon,” said Adeal product manager, Glenn Ward.

The products will be targeted at a young demographic with strong visual branding to create brand recognition.

“We hope that just as young people walk into a store today and ask for an iPod, they will one day walk in thinking about Tomato Flash as their brand,” said Teoh.

The total flash card market was over 600 million units in 2006 and is projected to grow for the next five to 10 years, according to Dynacard.