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Orange launches own-branded devices

Operator group France Telecom has launched three Orange-branded handsets in its bid to undercut the leading manufacturers in the smartphone market.

The Orange Lumo is the operator’s first 4G smartphone. It has a 4.5-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera. The San Remo is the operator’s largest screen smartphone, with a 4.7-inch display. It is 8.2mm thick and also has an 8-megapixel camera. The operator is targeting the youth and “first-smartphone” markets with the Orange Nivo, which has a 4-inch display and a 5-megapixel camera. All three devices run on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.

The firm claims that Orange smartphone sales growing by 62 per cent and its market share growing by 77 per cent across Europe in 2012. Orange smartphones also represent the fastest growing range of devices within the operator’s portfolio in terms of market share growth, the firm said.

“Orange has always been a little bit different to our competitors,” Yves Maitre, senior VP of mobile multimedia and devices at Orange, told Telecoms.com.

“We have always been a pioneer in innovation, and this means in networks – such as EE in the UK launching the first 4G network – we were the first to offer an Intel phone and we launched the first Android smartphone under £120. We still believe that innovation is not just in the realm of manufacturers and we also believe that pushing the price of smartphones down is part of innovation.”

He added that low cost doesn’t necessarily mean low quality, pointing at examples in the airline industry, such as EasyJet’s offering and claimed that there is a strong request for smartphones at a low cost, even if the device is not one of the top tier handset brands.

Maitre also claims that 50 per cent of the phones the operator sells in emerging markets are already Orange branded, and is targeting a 15 to 20 per cent market share in mature markets.


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