MWC 2017: Exertis now leading in smart home market

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It has since grown the number of vendor partners it works with in the sector to more than 30

Exertis claims it is now the leading B2B distributor for smart home products in the UK with an 85 per cent control of the market.

Basingstoke-based Exertis had entered the smart homes market over three years ago and has since grown the number of vendor partners it works with in the sector to more than 30. The list includes the likes of Alcatel, Belkin, Hive, Philips and Motorola.

Mass adoption

The UK has been a mass adopter of the product, with operators such as O2, Vodafone and EE launching or being involved in smart home products.

Common products within the smart home category are powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) and include devices such as alarms, heating and lighting which can be controlled remotely from a smartphone.

According to global technology manufacturer Ericsson, there will be 29 billion connected devices by 2022, 18 billion of which will be IoT connected. This was up from a forecast of 400 million at the end of last year.

Exertis mobile sales director Simon Woodman (main image left) claimed the firm’s early adoption of smart home technology alongside expert knowledge of staff has helped it take its self-proclaimed position.

Knowledgable staff

Woodman declined to reveal specific sales and shipment figures, but said: “We were fairly early to distributing smart home products and that gave us a really good head start.

“We’ve been able to develop our relationships with our distribution partners which has helped us get to where we currently are. The smart homes market is going to explode in the next few years and I’m really confident we can benefit further from that growth.

“We also have staff members who are experts with smart home products. This knowledge helps us sell products in the category to our customers.”

Woodman was also confident Nokia’s latest handsets unveiled at Mobile World Congress could help the former smartphone giant claw its way back into the list of top five manufacturers in the next year.

Exertis announced it had signed an exclusive UK distribution deal with HMD Global last month. Finnish HMD signed a 10-year agreement in May last year to produce handsets and tablets under the Nokia name.

HMD unveiled four new Nokia handsets at MWC, which included the Nokia 6, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and a revamped version of the classic 3310 feature phone. The 3310 was originally launched in 2000 and went on to sell more than 126 million units. The updated model comes with a colour screen and is available for €49 in red, yellow, dark blue and grey.

High demand

According to Woodman, Exertis has already received 100,000 orders for the new HMD devices.

“Demand for the new devices is incredible. Nokia has a legacy which everyone knows. It’s a classic phone and Nokia has a huge legacy behind it,” he said.

“I’m confident that will help drive sales of the Nokia brand and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them work their way back into the top five over the next year or so.”

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