Haier – the familiar name in the electronics market – has entered into highly competitive yet lucrative smartphone market with the offers it hopes will take the industry by storm. And it’s not just the lavish launch ceremony and brand ambassador Shahid Afridi, Haier might have actually pulled rabbits out of hat with the offers that are hard to miss. Keep reading to find out what those rabbits are.
The launch event took place in Lahore with two separate sessions for mainstream media and bloggers. Haier’s Head of Product and Services Usman and Haier Mobile CEO Zeshan Qureshi were the panel to brief the bloggers about the launch while Ayesha Sana was the hostess. I was also invited to participate as a blogger and here goes what’s on my mind regarding the event.
Hoping to capture all major market segments, Haier has come up with three series of mobile phones: Esteem series for advance smartphone users who have higher budgets, Pursuit series for beginner smartphone users with limited budgets and the Klassic series, yes it’s with a ‘K’, which is for feature phone market.
The Esteem series comprises two advanced devices: Esteem i70 with 1.4 GHz quadcore processor and Esteem L50 with 1.2 GHz processor. These phones have 5” display and run on Android KitKat operating system.
The Pursuit series also has two smartphones catered for users with limited budget. They include Pursuit G30 with 4.5 inch screen and 1.3 GHz dualcore processor and Pursuit G20 with 4 inch screen and 1.2 GHz processor.
This series comprises 6 feature phones; one of which supports 3G.
Haier’s smartphones will be priced at somewhere between Rs 7000 and Rs 35000.
Android OS with OTA
As we were told by their Product and Services head, Android smartphones come with Android OS with an OTA option; meaning the phones will be upgradable to the forthcoming Android versions.
Partnership with GameLoft
Haier has partnered with GameLoft along with a couple of other enterprises to offer high end gaming experience. Haier smartphone users will enjoy a bundle of readily available games and apps.
Feature Phone with 3G
Now I haven’t heard of this before. Haier has come up with a 3G enabled feature phone essentially opening up a wider cell phone users to the endless world of 3G. Feature phones also come with preinstalled apps like WhatsApp and Facebook.
Now the rabbits out of the hat you have been waiting for. These are the after sale services our smartphone market is not used to.
1. Theft+Loss Insurance
Haier is offering phone insurance in case your phone is lost or stolen. The bloggers were told that other than having the tracking options, Haier phone users will also be able to make claim in case their phone is stolen or snatched. No information regarding how this will work or what sort of documentation a user has to bring in was provided.
2. AON Manchester United Insurance Card
Through AON Manchester United Insurance Card, Haier phone users will be get free insurance coverage of up to Rs 20,000 in case of accidental death. This insurance card is only available for Esteem and Pursuit series customers. Through a lucky draw, a handful of users will get to meet the MU team fans.
I was able to record the official ringtone of Haier mobile phones as it was being unveiled to the press during the launch event. Here it is.
I think Haier phones launch is a step in the right direction and it will definitely be a positive addition. There are some reports suggesting that Haier is not just importing phones from China but it will be opening up a production unit in Pakistan. If true, it will open up new doors for Pakistan’s economy.
So far we know how Haier has done its market segmentation but we don’t know anything about their promotion and positioning techniques yet. Will Haier be successful to dispel the ‘China phone’ stereotype is yet to be found out.
Do I think you should buy the phone? Absolutely!