Recently I spent some time at Interop with executives from Monoprice, the company more well-known for inexpensive HDMI cables and audio equipment. It’s worth noting the media generally loves Monoprice… Their products are known to be of high-quality while being low cost. I have ordered from them – some audio cables actually and was happy as well.
In a conversation with Manual Hernandez and Eeric Krause, they told me their go-to-market strategy is different than most companies. They are a contract manufacturer and subsequently handle the export, import and distribution. They emphasized they have no middleman which means you don’t see the product marked up few times.
Moreover, the company wants the corporate world to know they have been serving this market for almost four years and they are disruptive when competing against companies like Belkin. They have 47 bulk cable SKUs in fact. At Interop 2015 they showed off their bootless line of patch cables of the CAT5e and 6 variety.
What I thought might be most interesting however to users of the latest laptops on the market is their line of USB-C cables from $10-$35. It’s worth noting the cables all have a lifetime warranty and the company isn’t shy in telling you they also carry routers, switches and patch panels.
Getting back to USB-C… Monoprice will charge you $12.99 for a 6-foot USB-C male to male connector while Apple will charge you $29. The price savings is similar across the board.
The pair also told me their new USB-C cables work with Chromebooks as well as Apple products as opposed to Apple USB-C cables which only work with Apple products. I couldn’t verify this claim independently and Apple did not immediately respond to a request on the matter. If they do, I will update this post – assuming of course I don’t die of shock.
Bottom line: Monoprice wants to be a household brand – known for providing superior quality at low prices. Not unlike what Honda was once and perhaps is still known for.
The biggest challenge for the company of course might be Amazon – but the online retailer does also sell their products making them frenemies. In reality though, many of us have been burned by low-priced cables and other products when shopping online. I have thrown out all my low-cost Lightning cables I purchased on the online retailer. If Monoproce can continue to establish itself as a high-quality, low-cost provider it likely has a bright future.