Alcatel One Touch will launch another five Android smartphones and its first tablet in the UK this year.
The Hong Kong-based manufacturer is predicting UK sales will continue to soar in 2011 after doubling its handset shipments to 1.6 million in 2010.
Speaking to Mobile, William Paterson, UK and Ireland country director said: ‘We definitely envisage strong growth this year. We’ve broadened our channel distribution – we’re now with O2 and all the other UK operators, except Three, and all the major high street retailers – so that will help drive further growth.’
Paterson said the company is hoping to cut a deal with Three later this year.
Alcatel One Touch will launch four Android phones in the UK this year, with two planned for Q2 and the other two expected to launch in Q3. There may also be a fifth launch in Q4, Paterson said. Alcatel One Touch’s new tablet, which has just launched in Asia, is also heading for the UK this year, Paterson (pictured) revealed.
The new Android devices will be priced aggressively, Paterson said, in line with the company’s mission statement ‘to bring Android to the masses’.
However, the move into Android devices does not signal a move away from the lower end of the market. ‘We will continue selling across the product portfolio,’ Paterson said.
The company has also refreshed its image, rebranding Alcatel Mobile Phones as Alcatel One Touch. The move is aimed at distancing the company from its former parent company, Alcatel-Lucent, which sold the division to TCL Communication five years ago.
The old brand name was also considered too narrow to convey the company’s broad product portfolio, which now covers USB keys, Wi-Fi routers, tablets and, from this year, fixed line products, as well as mobile phones and smartphones.
Alcatel One Touch attributes its UK growth to its ability to offer differentiated products. Paterson said: ‘We customise everything we ship – different finishes, designs and software – meeting what is a big requirement for differentiated products at the point of sale.’
Alcatel’s parent company reports 125% growth
TCL Communication, Alcatel One Touch’s parent company, has reported 125% year on year growth with sales volumes exceeding 36 million units in 2010, making it the fastest growing of the top ten mobile phone manufacturers, according to Strategy Analytics.
At the company’s annual results this month, CEO George Guo said: ‘We are currently outpacing our competition and believe that this growth is sustainable as long as we keep our eye on the needs of our customers – providing them with the relevant products to support their mobile lifestyle.’
TCL Communication said it is also planning to build a 300,000 square metre production plant to increase its annual production capacity to 130 million units.
The company said it aims to launch over 100 new models this year, including a number of new smartphones and tablets.