Etisalat to launch own brand of mobile phones soon
Etisalat phone will be available within the next two weeks and cost less than AED300
Etisalat has confirmed that it will launch its own brand of mobile phones in the United Arab Emirates before the end of October. Last year the telco revealed it was negotiating contracts with international vendors and Own Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with the aim of introducing its own range of 3G telecommunications devices and handsets (both high-end and entry-level models) to customers in the Middle East as well as Africa and Asia.Agreements with Huawei and ZTE were announced in 2008 but unconfirmed reports say that deals could have also involved Nokia and other top phone manufacturers.
Etisalat now says that its brand of phones will be launched in the country next week or during the GITEX Technology Week at the latest, and will cost less that AED 300."We should launch this phone within a week and it will be branded an etisalat phone," said Omar Al Muzakki in comments published by Emirates Business 24/7. The phone will include broadband connectivity, services from its interactive portal - Weyak, and several user interface customisations.
"This is a first for us since 1996 when we stopped doing this. From 1994 to 1996 we used to sell the handset from etisalat where it was customised and everything was ours. We are now returning to that strategy," he told the paper.
Muzakki said oversupply of mobile devices in the UAE and a consequent lack of consumer confidence in several products had pushed etisalat towards device customisation.
"Our priority is to satisfy our customers in terms of the trust they need from etisalat. The UAE market is open and there are millions of handsets. But when you introduce a handset branded etisalat the customer will feel confident in its after sales and the price. This is why our first offering is in a low-price bracket," he added.