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Ex-Apple CEO-Backed Obi Mobiles Says Has 4.3% UAE Marketshare

Ex-Apple CEO-Backed Obi Mobiles Says Has 4.3% UAE Marketshare

The brand launched in the UAE six months ago and its current portfolio includes eight smartphone models.

Obi Mobiles, co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, is among the seven most popular smartphone brands in the UAE market, according to retailer feedback, the company announced on Monday.

Obi Mobiles had 4.3 per cent of marketshare in the UAE’s smartphone segment in the week ending February 5, 2015, it said.

Cumulatively, the brand secured 3.2 per cent of the marketshare over the first five weeks of 2015, it added.

Obi Mobiles launched in the UAE in late September with a line-up of five devices.

At the time, Sculley told Gulf Business he was targeting an eventual overall market share of five per cent in the Middle East, with an initial investment of $20 million.

“We said how can we take Apple’s brilliance at the premier end of the market and translate it to a market that Apple has no interest to participate in? Which is a very different price point, but yet there are a lot of young people who just don’t have the budget to be able to buy a smartphone at a higher price,” the ex-Apple CEO said.

Obi Mobiles unveiled its second line-up of smartphones for the UAE market during the Dubai Shopping Festival 2015.

The brand’s current portfolio includes eight models – the Octopus S520, which retails at Dhs799; the Hornbill S551 at Dhs599; Crane S550 at Dhs599; Leopard S502 at Dhs499; the Wolverine S501 at Dhs399; Fox S453 at Dhs299; Racoon S401 at Dhs249, and feature phone F240, which retails at Dhs99.

Amit Rupchandani, managing director at Obi Mobiles EMEA said: “We launched in the UAE with a bid to win five per cent marketshare within a year. At the current rate, we are confident of surpassing our forecasts for 2015.”

With smartphone penetration rates in the UAE rising, the country has seen an influx of new mobile brands enter the market in the last few years.

Last year, along with Obi, French firm Wiko and Indian company XOLO also launched their devices in the country.

Earlier this year, Chinese mobile manufacturer OPPO announced its entry to the UAE market with what it claimed as the ‘world’s thinnest smartphone’, the R5.

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