Touchmate talks value with handset range

Consumer electronics manufacturer Touchmate will launch its inaugural range of mobile phones next month as it seeks to raise its brand profile in the Middle East.

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By  Michael Thorne Published  July 4, 2006

Consumer electronics manufacturer Touchmate will launch its inaugural range of mobile phones next month as it seeks to raise its brand profile in the Middle East. Pitched at the entry level sector of the market, the new range of handsets is set to feature impressive multimedia capabilities as standard including mp3 players and digital cameras. “We are not focusing on gaining the biggest market share or taking on the major players in the market,” Touchmate managing director Vasant Menghani told ECN. “The range is primarily being launched to increase Touchmate’s brand equity in the marketplace.” The company, which already boasts an impressive range of consumer electronics and IT peripherals in its product portfolio, is looking to expand its distribution base in the Middle East in a bid to better service key emerging markets across the region. “We are looking to establish partnerships with channel distributors that are keen to actively promote the mobile handset and accessories range in addition to our consumer electronics and other products that are not particularly IT-related,” Menghani said. “We are reviewing our current network of distributors and will keep working closely with those that meet these requirements. We will discuss other options with those that do not have the experience or the resources to deal with our less IT-focused products, and establish new channels for these products through new partners.” Menghani stressed that Touchmate will cooperate with its current partners to ensure that any new deals do not impact their existing business in the sector. “There will be a clear distinction between the product portfolios we supply to any multi-distributor set up,” he said. Touchmate’s mobile handset range could bring it into competition with a number of major vendors, including Nokia, which has trumpeted its own entry-level range of mobile phones. Menghani stressed that a combination of low prices and superior features would be a major selling point of the new handset range, providing a key differentiating factor to rival offerings. “We are aiming to enter the market in the US$80-US$100 price range for a handset equipped with mp3 player, digital camera and FM radio,” he explained. “Low-end mobile handset vendors don’t have our technology. We’re offering high-end features at a low price – that is the key to Touchmate’s strategy.”

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