Distributor Avenir Telecom has announced a strategic partnership with Energizer, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, to design, manufacture and distribute a range of mobile device chargers.
The range of chargers was on show at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week, but the full roll out will begin in June 2010.
Speaking to Mobile at the MWC, Stuart Balaam, sales director – accessories at Avenir, said: ‘Partnering with Energizer is part of our strategy to create a unique space for ourselves in the market. Before, we felt we were duplicating what firms like 20:20 and Kondor were doing. So we’ve set out to establish exclusive deals with a number of brands; some are sector exclusives, others are UK exclusives. We see it as a separate revenue stream for Avenir, which might grow to being 20% of the business by 2011.’
Balaam added: ‘Rather than have thousands of brands to sell we are being selective about who we establish deals with. That way we feel we can offer a focused approach to manufacturers. But we want to grow the business in the right way and build the right relationship with retailers. We are not after a quick hit. We want to build a sustainable business. We will work with other distributors if necessary, but we are not looking to compete head on with them.’
The Energizer agreement was only signed off in the last four weeks. Balaam said: ‘We are in negotiations with retailers at the moment and are looking at all channels to distribute the Energizer chargers.’ He added: ‘It’s not a case of just sticking a label on someone else’s product. It’s a genuine partnership with R&D from both sides.’
Balaam said trust was a big factor in selling accessories. ‘If you have a Nokia phone, but Nokia don’t supply an accessory you want, you’ve got to buy one from a third party. The reason for partnering with Energizer is that it is the number one battery supplier in the world, so people trust its products.’
Avenir and Energizer are offering a range of multi-connect chargers, some of which have a car, travel and USB charger on the same device. At the moment people would need 44 different products to cover all brands of car and travel chargers. This has been cut to six or seven chargers covering joint BlackBerry/HTC chargers, Motorola, the iPhone 3G, Samsung, LG, Nokia and Sagem. Balaam would not reveal prices yet, but said: ‘They won’t necessarily be premium price, but the pricing will be relatively aggressive, certainly lower than OEM products.’
Solutions are also being produced for gaming products, GPS devices, laptops and netbooks. A multi-connect charger will be available to suit all netbooks with the ability to self-regulate for the voltages required.
The Energizer chargers are designed to be eco-friendly. They are Energy Star Level 5 and EUP compliant, which means they save 30% of the power consumed by standard chargers. They are also equipped with an auto cut-off function, which stops drawing electricity once the device is fully charged.
Avenir has also established exclusive deals with: Dexim, a US manufacturer which supplies a range of charging and docking solutions for iPhones and iPods; Bling My Thing, which makes phone cases with Swarovsky crystals on them; Pat Says Now, which produces designer laptop sleeves; and BeeWi, which produces a range of Wi-Fi headphones, Bluetooth headsets, keyboards and mice.