In a glamorous ceremony in the world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, PC maker Lenovo launched its first set of smartphones for the UAE and Saudi Arabian markets.
The company has introduced six new models targeting all the sections of the market, with prices ranging from Dhs499 to Dhs1,999 (the rates are the same in Saudi Arabia).
The top-end model, the K900, is targeted at tech evangelists, the P780 (with 43 hours of non-stop talk time) is designed for professionals, the S920 and S820 are for heavy multimedia users and the low-priced A706 and A390 are entry-level smartphones.
Most of the phones run on quad-core processors, while some offer dual-SIM with dual-active capabilities. They will be available for sale from July/ August across the two countries.
While the phones are initially being launched only in the UAE and Saudi, the company plans to rapidly expand across the Middle East.
“We chose the Middle East and Africa region because of the huge potential here,” Gianfranco Lanci, Lenovo EMEA president, told Gulf Business.
The UAE ranks highest in the world in terms of smartphone penetration rate with 62 per cent of consumers owning smartphones, an 18 per cent year-on-year growth, according to a recent survey by Google. In Saudi, Portio Research says smartphone volumes will exceed 40 million by the end of 2013, and will reach 55 million by the end of 2016.
While experts suggest that the regional markets are reaching saturation in terms of choice, Lenovo is confident that it can survive the ongoing ‘battle of the smartphone brands’.
“There is certainly space for another player in the market,” said Oliver Ebel, vice president and general manager, Lenovo MEA.
“We have already done a lot of work in building up our brand and in the PC arena we are a well respected brand in the UAE and Saudi. So customers and retailers know us – they know our PCs and tablets and now we are coming out with phones,” he said.
“We want to quickly ramp up our presence, and our aim is to be among the top three smartphone players in the region in the next three years – a very ambitious goal,” Ebel added.
To achieve that target, the company plans to promote the products heavily through in-store advertising with its partners (Jumbo and Axiom Telecom in the UAE).
“We have the brand, the product, we have the innovation, I think we have all the right ingredients to make it happen,” said Lanci.
Design/ features: 6.9mm thick, weighs 162g, made from a composite of stainless steel alloy and polycarbonate, 5.5 inch IPS display with 1080p full HD resolution, runs on the Intel Atom Z2580 dual core chip processor, 13MP rear camera.
Design/ features: 4000mAH battery offering 43 hours non-stop talk time, Dual SIM, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 8MP camera, USB on-the-go, business applications
Design/ features: 7.9mm thick, weighs 159g, 5.3 inch IPS display, 1.2GHz, quad-core processor, 8MP rear camera, advanced photo editing functions
Design/ features: Ergonomic design, 12MP rear camera, 4.7 inch 1280×720 HD IPS screen, quad-core processor, dual SIM
Design/ features: 1.0GHz, quad-core processor and 1GB RAM, Dolby Digital Plus technology, 4.5 inch IPS display, Dual SIM, 5MP camera
Design/ features: 1.0GHz, dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage expandable up to 32GB, 5 MP camera