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MWC 2019: Alcatel strikes up new partnerships with retailers to counteract declining UK market

Manny Pham
March 13, 2019

The manufacturer has also launched three new smartphones

Alcatel has struck new retailer deals to combat the declining UK market and high-spending rivals.

The company has agreed partnerships with B&M Bargains, Get Connected, SIM Local, LinkZone and Euro Garages, revealed Alcatel’s UK and Ireland country director William Paterson. He has also been working to strike new retail partnerships for the last two years as the “traditional market declines”.

In April, GfK reported that the UK’s smartphone market dipped 11 per cent year-on-year, the largest drop across Western Europe. Paterson also cites the high spending power of Huawei as a challenge, with the Chinese vendor taking third place in the UK and globally.

“The challenges we faced got us thinking about different ways of getting product into the hands of consumers,” says Paterson. “The market has been shrinking particularly in the sub-£200 space, which affected us.

“In the UK, we’re number one in the sub-£100 space, and we’ve grown in the last year in the £100-to-£150 space.” Paterson did not provide shipment figures.

He also revealed that Alcatel will be shipping products directly from factories in China to the UK to mitigate potential stock issues, due to uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU.

“We planned and changed the supply chain to bring product in a sufficient manner,” says Paterson. “We will be bringing product directly from China to the UK and will avoid customs in Paris. We’re taking that middle man out regardless of what happens after March 29. We’ve planned for the worst.”

New phones
Alcatel has, meanwhile, launched three new smartphones – the 3, 3L and 1S – and the 3T tablet. The range, a refresh of the 3 series, features full view displays and is preloaded with Google Assistant.

Paterson confirmed that a 5G smartphone is part of plans for next year’s range.

The manufacturer also showcased its foldable phone technology dubbed ‘Dragon Hinge’ (left), which allows a prototype device to fold in half down the middle.

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