Prestigio courts retail channel

Following success in the retail sector in Eastern Europe, Prestigio is planning to ramp up activities in the power retail segment in the Middle East

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Prestigio courts retail channel
By  Manda Banda Published  December 4, 2012

Following success in the retail sector in Eastern Europe, Prestigio is planning to ramp up activities in the power retail segment in the Middle East. Channel Middle East spoke to Yuri Antoshkin, COO, Prestigio to find out the company’s plans for the region.

IT and consumer electronics (CE) vendor, Prestigio has revealed it plans to ramp up its retail channels in the Middle East region as the vendor moves to cement and stake a claim in the tablets and smartphones market.

The move comes as the vendor has launched a range of Prestigio MultiPad tablets and is readying to debut its long awaited Prestigio Multiphone array in the Middle East region.

And while there is no denying about the market potential in the Middle East mobile sector, Prestigio will have its work cut out as it competes with the established brands already playing in the smartphone space.

According to analyst firm IDC, 68% of smartphones that shipped globally in Q2 2012 had Android OS while Apple’s iPhone with iOS came in at 16.9%.

Interestingly, as competition heats up in the IT and consumer electronics space, retailers are looking for vendor partners that bring innovation to the products. Consumers on the other hand are increasingly becoming more tech-savvy and informed about the products they would like to purchase.

For Prestigio to make any significant headway into the smartphone market, it will have to be more innovative in bringing products that are competitively priced and offer value for money.

Yuri Antoshkin, COO of Prestigio, said: “Prestigio Multiphones represent an exciting extension of our very successful portfolio of mobile devices such as MultiPad tablet PC, GeoVision GPS and Prestigio eBook Readers with which we already claim leading positions in many countries in Eastern Europe. Adding our smartphones with the typical Prestigio look and feel allows our brand to offer a complete range of highly attractive and competitive products for modern mobile people who fancy a sophisticated lifestyle.”

Antoshkin said the company has made significant gains this year and managed to ship half a million tablets, 600,000 GPS, 200,000 car video recorders (CVR) and 100,000 eBook Readers. “Our products have been well received in Eastern Europe and we are hoping to replicate the same success here in the Middle East,” he said.

To achieve this, Prestigio is aware that developing its retail business, traditional channel and working with the telecoms providers will be crucial for its success.

Antoshkin said Prestigio is developing all its channels to market in the Middle East and the company has developed a strategy that aims at maximising the reach to market. “We are looking at developing a three-pronged approach with our smartphone business across the Middle East. The plan is to develop the telecoms, reseller and retail channels,” he said.

Antoshkin explained that the key to success in the smartphone business is to ensure that all the channel adhere to the recommended retail price (RRP). “This has worked well with our channels in East Europe and we do believe we can model something along the same line in the Middle East market,” said Antoshkin, adding that retailers and dealer can expect the three smartphone models the Prestigio Multiphone 4040, 4300 and 3500.

With all the Prestigio smartphone offerings coming with Android OS, the vendor is also aiming to emulate Samsung’s success in this market. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report for Q2 2012, Android’s success in the market can be traced directly to Samsung which accounted for 44.0% of all Android smartphones shipped in the Q2.

Antoshkin pointed out that Prestigio is not far behind from the more established brand names in the smartphone market in Eastern East. “We are number four overall behind Apple, Samsung and Acer in Eastern Europe,” he explained.

With the Middle East being one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, Antoshkin is upbeat Prestigio will curve out a niche for itself in the smartphone segment and grow its market share rapidly in the next 24 months.

Looking ahead, Antoshkin said the company’s objective aims to provide resellers and retailers decent margins so that they can also pass on this benefit to their end-user customers. “We do believe we have a compelling range of products that meet today’s consumer expectations. With our two year international warranty, our partners can be assured of peace of mind when they come on board,” Antoshkin concluded.

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