3/19/2008 10:54:00 AM
Mid-range handset boom down to popular £15 tariffs
The production of mid-range handsets is being stepped up to meet customers’ increasing appetite for £15 to £25 tariffs.
Manufacturers said that there has been a big rise in demand for devices in the £150 bracket in recent weeks.
The Nokia 6500 Slide, Sony Ericsson K770 and Samsung G600 are becoming particularly popular.
Mobile revealed 3’s new ‘Unlimited Texter’ tariff last week with a headline £25-per-month promotion.
Customers are able to choose from the Nokia 6500 and Sony Ericsson W880i. Both phones typically cost between £150 and £200.
A senior manufacturing executive told Mobile: ‘We are definitely having to produce more handsets to fit £15 to £25 tariffs.
‘We have to adapt and shift our resources to accommodate this change in the market or else we could struggle to keep up.’
It has meant there are fewer top-end phones priced around £300 being sold because they can’t be given away for free on low-end tariffs.
There is also currently a shift in the market from contract to prepay, with experts saying that up to 70% of the UK mobile phone market is now made up of prepay customers.
This is helping to fuel a demand for phones in the low-cost and mid-range price bracket.
Supermarkets’ increasing presence in the prepay phone market is further driving down the prices of handsets.
Nokia recently reported that its share price had fallen by 5% due to investor concerns that there is a weakening demand for high-end 3G mobile phones.