King Kong descends on UAE as Hisense launches new rugged phone

Published June 14th, 2015 - 04:00 GMT

When most of the smartphone manufacturers are focusing on specs, design and performance for their devices, Chinese consumer electronics company Hisense is following a different path to stay away from the crowd.

It has launched a phone named “King Kong” which can be used to break walnuts and watermelons, the company demonstrated it, in bid to prove its sturdiness and, at the same time, it is water proof and dust proof.

Terry Wang, Managing Director of Hisense Middle East, told Gulf News the phone is targeted at business people and young generation as smartphones have become an integral part of their life.

“We have seen people damaging their phones by dropping it in water and shattering the glasses by dropping it on the ground. So it is designed to withstand everyday accidents,” he said.

The five-inch device is priced at Dh999 and will be available from Monday onwards.

He also said many people spend extra money on covers to protect their devices. So, the company’s R&D decided to produce an affordable and tough piece of hardware to push the durability factor.

Caterpillar has launched similar smartphones in the local market targeting construction workers.

The Chinese company is confident of selling more than 600,000 mobile phones in the Gulf this year compared to 340,000 units last year.

“We are not confident only because of King Kong; the new models which we will be launched this year will definitely help us capture more market share. After Ramadan, we will be launching a premium device with value-added features,” Wang said.

After capturing more than five per cent of the mobile phone market share in the first quarter, Wang said he is optimistic of becoming one of the top three consumer electronics brands in the region by 2020.

“Our strategy is to build our brand identity in the market [rather] than concentrating on market share,” he said.

“Since we are a hardware company, we have to keep developing products that appeal to the consumers in bid to survive in the market and take advantage of technology,” he said.

The company achieved $120 million (Dh441 million) in revenues last year from the Gulf and expects $200 million this year.

Wang said that the Middle East is one of the fast-growing markets for Hisense and smartphones are the fastest growing category among consumer electronics.

Hisense also makes homes appliances and TVs for other manufacturers and earns more revenue than brand business. Brand business contributes more than 40 per cent to the group’s revenues.

“Our strategy is to become the number one Chinese brand in the Middle East,” he said.

By Naushad K Cherrayil

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