Company will provide retailers and operators with bespoke smartphones, tablets and wearables
Ingram Micro is in talks with a number of “major” UK retailers as it looks to become an established provider of white labelled ODM handsets, tablets and wearables.
The company, which is nearing a $6 billion sale to aviation firm HNA, has teamed up with a manufacturing factory in China to provide the service, which has been in development for 18 months.
Ingram will work closely with retailers and operators both in the UK and internationally to build bespoke products to their requirements under their own branding.
It will also manage all sourcing, logistics, repairs, flashing and packaging for the lifetime of the product for their customers.
Speaking exclusively to Mobile News during last month’s Mobile World Congress, Ingram Micro executive VP mobility Shailendra Gupta (pictured left) said the opportunity was “vast” with around 45 per cent of the 1.4 billion handsets shipped globally last year carrying white label brands.
“It’s really coming to fruition,” said Gupta. “There are a number of extremely good Chinese ODMs who are able to manufacture products to a very high quality. The problem they have is how to bring their products to the market, because they don’t have a commercial arm.
“We are now providing the enablement to bring their products to the market under the private labels of the carriers and retailers.
“We’ll identify a product that meets their requirements, help to design a unique ID for that product and for the customer, package it and support it for the lifetime.”
Ingram Micro president Europe mobility Jac Currie (pictured right) added: “The local brands are a big part of the market and target a set of customers who are wanting value for money. It’s a big opportunity.”
The names of the retailers in discussion could not be revealed as we went to press. The company has already soft launched a number of handsets in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe with carriers and retailers.
Currie said the UK launch has been made possible as a result of last year’s acquisition of ANOVO for a rumoured £80 million.
ANOVO, headquartered in Norwich, has operations in the UK, Columbia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Spain, France, Poland and Belgium – all potential target markets. It was described as the missing piece to spearhead Ingram’s ODM drive, providing it with a complete suite of services, managing both forward (distribution) and reverse (returns) logistics.
This is something, Currie claimed many have struggled with. “Some have tried and been successful by going it alone, but many have faced issues when the products come back,” said Currie.
“It’s one thing to manage it going out, but its an entirely other thing managing the process when its returns. We are doing everything properly.
“What we have done is put the forward motion in place but also the reverse motion so we can take care of the refurbishment, repair, regeneration and resell for them.”