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Phone Boss Calls On Feds To Regulate Smartphone Imports

The CEO of Alcatel has called on the Federal Government to introduce certification checks for smartphones, especially devices being bought in by grey importers such as Kogan, Amaysim and Catch Of The Day.

Sam Skontas who has driven Alcatel to be the #1 prepaid and the #3 overall smartphone brand in Australia claims that a great deal of grey imports are devices which in some cases have not paid a license fee for software spanning Wi Fi, Bluetooth or MPEG 3.

He claims that in the same way that the Federal Government force automotive manufacturers to bring in Australian standard compliant vehicles they should also be doing the same with smartphones. He also claims that an emerging trend in China is the growth and the use of “second hand parts” in mobile phones which is an extremely dangerous trend.

“Can you imagine the risk associated with buying a grey imported smartphone that has a second hand battery” said Skontos.

Skontos claims that the sale of grey imported smartphones are continuing to grow in Australia, especially via online retailers such as Kogan.com, Amaysim and Catch of the Day.

Skontos has also called for intervention from the AMTA (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association) and ACMA (Australian Communications & Media Authority).

He also claims that the price of testing a smartphone for Australian compliance can range up to $25,000, a notable cost for a $99 phone.

Testing for compliance with carriers such as Telstra, can reportedly cost up to $200,000 as carriers aim to ensure compatibility with local network settings.

He said that consumers are ultimately at risk from inferior handsets, a risk not worthwhile given the presence of “premium” finish handsets under $200.

Currently ranked Australia’s number one prepaid mobile brand, Alcatel unveiled its 2018 smartphone range at a launch event in Sydney yesterday.

The company claims to be the first brand to incorporate 18:9 display across its entire range, including the entry-level $89 Alcatel 1.

Following its unveiling at Mobile World Congress 2018, local consumers are set to receive the following handsets from August; Alcatel 1X ($129), 1C ($89),1 ($99), and Alcatel 3V ($199).

Speaking of its 2018 range, Skontos affirms last year’s Alcatel designs were “run of the mill”, with a “flagship look and feel” now central to all devices, irrespective of price point.

Alcatel affirms it’s not trying to dethrone Apple or Samsung, however, aims to bring premium features (e.g. facial recognition and immersive display) to Australians, at prices more affordable “than ever before”.

The Chinese-company is now utlising display panels from the factories of parent company TCL, a process which has allowed Alcatel to offer premium grade display screens at a budget price.

All devices in Alcatel’s 2018 range boast increased battery life, coupled with “refreshed” “high-end” designs.

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