Last October the Alcatel OT-203 was sold in partnership with Carphone, The Sun newspaper and Orange in the UK.
The device is a very basic one for voice and text with very limited features:
no GPRS,no Java, a small colour 1.5 inch screen of 128×128.
According to Carphone Warehouse the Alcatel OT-203 was its fastest selling prepay handset ever. The £9.50 handset, with £10 free credit on Orange went on sale on 14th October and was available to customers who had collected four tokens printed in the newspaper.
Carphone sold 14,000 handsets in the opening two hours with queues forming outside some stores. 47,000 phones were sold over the three day promotion. Carphone said the handset is the fastest selling prepay device in its history.
Carphone CEO Andrew Harrison commented: ‘The speed at which this handset flew out of our stores was simply staggering. We saw an extra 100,000 customers over the three days the promotion ran, which just goes to prove that customers still love brilliant value handsets. We shouldn’t forget that for every customer who wants an iPhone, there is another customer looking for the best value on the high street.’
The smartphone segment, even if its growing fast, accounts roughly for 20% of the global device shipments. Even if the iPhone will be on sale at Tesco, most people need a mobile phone to … do phone calls and texts. Given the tough times most people are going through this kind of promotion is just smart and efficient in wooing new customers.
These days the handset market seems polarized between the two extremes: the high end devices and the entry level ones with no space in between.