Chinese phone maker sees potential in selfie-taking, price-conscious PH

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Friday, April 4, 2014


MOBILE device manufacturer Gionee Communications Equipment Ltd. Co. is confident of growing its mobile market share in the Philippines, on the back of its growing middle class and its latest recognition as one of the “selfie capitals” of the world.

Gionee recently introduced in Cebu its flagship product, the Elife E7 model, its contender for the high-end smart phone segment currently dominated by Samsung and Apple.

Gionee Philippines mobile head, Katrin Salanga-Gregorio, said their optimism to strengthen the brand’s foothold in the Philippine market is buoyed by the Filipino consumer’s continuing search for affordable smart phones with top-of-the-line features.

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It targets mostly the tech-savvy buyers who buy based on the device’s features and not so much on its brand. Gregorio said their products are high-quality, with a less than one percent return-to-merchant rate.

The China-brand mobile phone entered the Philippine market in February last year. According to Gregorio reception and sales have been doing well.

“We have already captured five percent of the total smart phone segment, as per GfK survey,” she said.

Gregorio added Gionee has seen the big potential for its products here. The country has an estimated 30 million users on Facebook alone.

A Time magazine survey also recently identified Makati and Pasig as the top “selfie capitals” of the world, with 258 selfie-takers for every 100,000 citizens, followed by New York. Also included in the roster are Cebu City, ranking 9th with 99 selfie-takers per 100,000 citizens; Baguio City, 16th with 82 selfie-takers; Quezon City, 59th with 44 selfie-takers; and Iloilo City, 72nd with 36 selfie-takers.

The Elife E7 model is equipped with an eight-megapixel (MP) front and 16.0 MP rear camera.

“The Cebuanos are now mature in terms of their buying preferences so we are confident that Gionee Elife E7 smartphone will be well-received in Cebu,” said Gionee regional head for Visayas and Mindanao Mikee Morado.

Gionee also introduced former Davao City mayor Sara Suterte as the company’s brand ambassador.

Gionee was established in 2002 and is present in 40 countries. Its strongest market outside of China is India.

According to Singapore-based research company GfK Asia, the Philippines was the fourth-biggest market for smart phones among Southeast Asian countries in the first nine months of 2013.

Smartphone sales in the country amounted to US$1.24 billion in January to September, up 42 percent from the same months of 2012. This ranked fourth highest, next to Indonesia ($3.33 billion), Malaysia ($2.25 billion) and Thailand ($1.96 billion).

There were 5.1 million smart phone units sold in the Philippines during the period, up 39 percent year-on-year. Gfk Asia said this was the fifth highest in the region.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 05, 2014.

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