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Alcatel Talk 2017 Overhaul, Liverpool Partnership

Budget smartphone player Alcatel has talked up their partnership with Liverpool Football Club and explained their recent overhaul of their 2017 product lineup at a media event in Sydney earlier today.

Alcatel ANZ’s VP and Managing Director Sam Skontos reiterated the company’s commitment to their partnership with “iconic brand” Liverpool.

He said that 2016 was a strong period for Alcatel, coming out of the year with four quarters of solid growth –  each bigger than the last.

“Not many vendors can vouch for that,” Skontos says.

According to him, Alcatel is now the third biggest smartphone vendor in the Australian market with double the sales volume of their closest competitor.

“That sort of gives you an idea as to how much we’re throwing and how much we’re shipping. It’s phenomenal for us,” he said.

He even implied that the company’s consolidation and growth had made surprising progress when it comes to closing the gap on the “number 2 player” (Samsung).

Blackberry did recieve a small mention, with Skontos suggesting that TCL would be using the brand to push into the higher-end of the market.

Skontos said that shortages in the LCD and memory supply markets and a move by carriers away from subsidised handsets will have a major influence on the company’s fortunes in 2017.

“We’ve got unique products. Different products” he emphasised, reiterating the company’s commitment to becoming more youth-orientated and prizing value above all.

Skontos said that while the Idol 5 will continue to act as “Flagship Alternative”, the rest of the company’s range will be focused on the sub-$299 market that it knows best.

They’ve dropped the PIXI and POP ranges, swapping them out for the A3 (first revealed at CES), A5 and A7 (shown off at MWC). All three devices are being positioned as an “Affordable Premium” offering.

Interestingly, he said that the A7 would be pitched at power-users, potentially offering greater specs than those found even in the coming Idol 5.

Alcatel’s director of Products and Marketing David Vieira spoke briefly about each of the devices, highlighting the three awards the company’s new A5 LED received after its debut in Barcelona.

Vieira ran through the new degrees of customization that the A5 LED will offer, allowing users to customize the color and patterns of the cover using the Color Catcher featured in past Alcatel devices.

He also talked up the modifications they’ve made to the fingerprint sensor, which will allow users to save apps to different fingers and then use them as shortcuts.

To closing out the event, former-Liverpool player and current Alcatel brand ambassador John Barnes added his two cents.

Barnes says that Alcatel have really embraced him as part of the partnership with Liverpool, describing the relationship as one with “a real family feel about it.”

He highlighted the work that Alcatel do in terms of giving back to the community was also a draw.

“It’s not just about taking,” he said.

The A5 LED is set to carry an RRP of $299 and arrive in the local market in May.

The U5 will reach Australian shores around the same time for an RRP of $150 AUD.

Meanwhile the A3 will retail for $199 in June.

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