China-made mobile phones sold in the country have earned the notoriety for being cheap yet falling short in quality and durability, a notion which Lenovo Mobile aims to dispel as it launched on Thursday six new phones for the Philippine market.
According to Hyacinth Serrano, business unit head of Open Communications, Inc., the local distributor of Lenovo Mobile, most
phone companies in the Philippines that source their phones from China do not have control over the quality of their products.
“Some phone (brands) do OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), where they basically outsource manufacturing of the phones. That’s one of the reasons why they’re having problems with quality. Because, usually, you just choose wherever is the cheapest to manufacture phones,” Serrano claimed.
In contrast, Serrano said Lenovo Mobile manufactures their products in their own single-platform factory in Xiamen, China, meaning all the materials and production work are done within the same facility.
Additionally, to ensure durability and long life of their phones, Serrano shared that the units undergo a battery of tests inside the factory before being shipped out.
For example, the Lenovo S800, which is being positioned by the company as a stylish phone targeted at fashion-oriented women, the unit goes through tests to see if, it could still operate at a satisfactory level even when exposed to make-up, lotions and other cosmetic products usually used by women.
The Lenovo A336, on the other hand, a feature phone made for the mass market, is tested by dropping the unit at a certain height to see how it could accommodate shocks and sudden drops, which are typical occurrences when using a mobile phone.
“We are really trying to take away the notion that China-made phones are not quality phones,” Serrano said. “Our phones look and feel high-end, but the price is not.”
“If you see the S800 with the [translucent display], that technology is not cheap. Otherwise, other brands will come up with the same features. We really try to bring in unique products and something new to the market,” she stressed.
Aside from this, officials said the brand Lenovo brings a whole new dimension of quality to the phones, since the esteemed PC-maker is recognized as one of the leaders in the PC market. They said this gives it an edge in a highly saturated mobile market as the Philippines.
“The brand speaks for itself, and Lenovo has a very good name to begin with,” said Maria Patricia Paredes, marketing manager of Open Communications, adding that producing quality phones enables them to compete not just on the cost factor alone.
Just recently, Lenovo has been touted by research firm IDC as the second top PC vendor in the world, edging out Acer, and the top PC manufacturer in the Asia Pacific region. It also owns the ThinkPad brand for laptops, which is recognized worldwide for its strength and durability.
During Thursday’s launch, Lenovo Mobile unveiled six new phones catering to different market segments, from entry-level users to
high-end, sophisticated ones.
These are: the S800 fashion phone, the A60 Android phone, the Q350 Internet phone, the Q330 QWERTY phone, the A336 gaming phone and the E156 basic phone.
The S800 features a sleek design with a 2.4-inch display that is completely see-through; a 2-megapixel camera; and a built-in answering machine. It costs P8880.
The A60, meanwhile, is a dual-SIM Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone with a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive multi-touch screen, which sells for P7990.
The Q350 and the Q330 are QWERTY-phones with built-in social networking and instant messaging apps. The difference is that the former has built-in WiFi capabilities. They can be had at P3990 and P2990, respectively.
Lastly, the A336 and the E156 are feature phones meant for the mass market. The former, positioned as a gaming phone, contains a NES emulator where users can play using ROMs downloaded from the Internet. The latter, on the other hand, features a music player, an FM radio and the standard GPRS browser. These are at the P2290 and P1290 price points, respectively.