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UK handset market ‘a double-edged sword’ says Kazam

UK-based smartphone manufacturer Kazam has questioned the state of the nation’s handset market, branding it ‘a double-edged sword’.

Having announced itself to the world back in November, the emerging manufacturer is still finding its feet, telling TrustedReviews that the UK handset scene is not welcoming of new players.

“In the UK, because we have a subsidised market – so the operators have an influence in retail as well – we just have to jump over a few more hurdles,” Kazam’s Chief Marketing Officer James Atkins told us.

Discussing these ‘hurdles’ he added: “That is typically why you don’t see as many newer smartphone brands in the UK as you do in mainland Europe.”

Although committing Kazam’s future to breaking into UK networks and retailers, Atkins has claimed that the number of restrictions, limitations and requirements placed on handset manufacturers in the UK means new companies struggle to break onto the scene.

Discussing the ups and downs of the UK smartphone market, he stated: “I guess [the UK] is a double-edged sword.”

He added: “A subsidised market potentially benefits the consumer more in the lower prices that they are paying whereas with a pure retail model you’re putting out a lot more money up front.

“Potentially though it does limit competition.”

Moving to address the role of networks in the UK smartphone scene the Kazam CMO suggested that restrictions more than reluctance is what stopping new players breaking through.

“Network operators are not saying that they won’t test other people, it’s more a decision of those manufacturing brands to say ‘actually we don’t have the time, or money or resource to either get our product to that level or go through that process’,” he said.

“We have been working with the operators since before we announced our first range. Some of these things are one-offs that we have to do as a new brand – so there are audits and stuff that have to happen. Other elements of it are more transactional and product related.

“The amount of work that we are trying to do on this as a very small organisation is a huge investment for us. Once we have this though we jump up a notch as all of those other manufacturers who don’t have it are not going to be able to go to market through the same routes.”

Although Kazam has yet to launch its first handset in the UK, the manufacturer has a number of devices available through a range of outlets on the continent, with the likes of Poland and Spain already developed markets for the brand.

Despite this advanced stance in other markets, UK remains the manufacturer’s primary target.

“It is a journey we are on, and we’re quite advanced in that journey. We already have a couple of large networks approved and we are working to get the others,” Atkins said.

“As soon as we’ve got the others approved, we are then free to enter the market and start building our brand specifically in the UK.”

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