Mobile phone distributor Elite Mobile has launched a range of own-branded mobile phones, with plans to produce an Android-powered handset in the coming months.
It is understood that this is the first time a distributor has released an own-brand handset. Elite Mobile used a third party manufacturer to build the phone but refused to disclose the name of the company.
The devices will be branded under the company’s Fonerange brand. The Middlesex-based distributor said the Fone Easy and Fone Talk & Text devices are part of a new business stream for the company, which is aiming to target the value end of the mobile phone market. Marketing director Claire Duffield said the devices will be sold through catalogues, independent mobile phone shops and dealers.
She said: ‘We identified a gap in the market and felt there was no reason why we shouldn’t bring our own device out. There’s demand out there for these products and doing it ourselves mean we can set the specs and offer great value at a competitive price for our customers.’
The Fone Easy has an RRP of £29.99 and features a large keypad and volume buttons for ease of use as well as a large font display. The phone also has an SOS button and a torch.
The Fone Talk & Text device has a QWERTY keyboard and carries an RRP of £39.99. It features a camera, speaker and LED torch. The quad-band phone also comes with Bluetooth functionality. Elite Mobile is selling the device in both black and white.
Duffield said: ‘The Fone Easy is being targeted at an elderly market and Talk & Text is being aimed at anyone. Our portfolio will be targeted quite widely. We want to build a range of devices that will offer something for everyone.’
The company said it is currently working on an Android-powered handset and this will also be aimed at the value end of the market. It will display the new phones, as well as the rest of the distributor’s Fonerange product portfolio, at Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona.
Elite Mobile director of trade Wayne Langford (pictured) said: ‘The new Fonerange handsets give not only great value but also choice and flexibility for our customers. It was an obvious decision to add handsets to the range given the current success of the Fonerange brand. These handsets already complement our existing range of accessories and we see this as the beginning of what will be a portfolio of handsets in the future.’