The company behind the Versus range of tablets is moving into the smartphone market with the launch of its first entry level Android devices.
The four smartphones will also be branded Versus and are built by IT supplier and distributor KMS Components. The company said the devices have already received interest from its existing tablet customers, including Argos, Dixons Retail, John Lewis, Shop Direct, Sainsbury’s and Asda.
The smartphones will run on Android and range in price from £60 to £200, Sim-free. The flagship device – the Evolve Five (pictured) – comes with a 5-inch HD screen, a dual Sim, a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, an eight-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera.
The budget smartphone in the range is the Evolve 3.5 which has a dual Sim, a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor and front and rear facing cameras. All four phones come in a choice of colours and the Evolve portfolio will be marketed with the tagline ‘Led by design and driven by you.’
KMS Components’ launch into the smartphone market was prompted by its success with tablets. The Cardiff-based supplier has shipped over 400,000 tablets into the UK market under its brand names Versus and CnM since July last year.
KMS head of smartphones Martin Carter said: ‘We had really good feedback from both retailers and consumers about our tablets and so we decided to look at smartphones with the idea of developing a family of products.
‘We didn’t want to just dive into the market so we got a sourcing office in Hong Kong and tasked them with finding good quality products. It took six to eight months to do that and now we have four products ready to go. They are all good, high spec smartphones at affordable prices that don’t compromise on quality.’
Carter acknowledged that the smartphone market is competitive for newcomers but said the strength of the Versus brand in the tablet market and the company’s relationship with retailers as a supplier of computer peripherals would help it gain leverage. He said: ‘Our goal is to provide the market with a new choice of smartphone that competes on features similar to products priced at £200 and above, yet we will look to be 50% lower in cost to save consumers money and give more people the opportunity to own a great smartphone.’
The four phones have generated significant interest from a wide range of retailers, Carter said, adding: ‘All our retailers are keen to sit down and look at the range. We are also talking to Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. We’ve had an excellent response from both retailers and distributors. There is a lot of opportunity for us out there.’
Author: Carol Millett