Midcom Group makes play for middle ground in MEA device market

Fero Royale X1

Midcom Group, a UAE-headquartered conglomerate, on Monday announced it is making a play in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) mobile device market with the launch of a range of devices under the Fero brand.

The conglomerate revealed the newly launched mobile brand is offering 16 devices in total, ranging from low-cost feature phones through to premium -- high-tier -- smartphones.

Akash Kumar, MD of Midcom Group, said the company will leverage its experience as a device distributor in Africa over the past 13 years when selling its Fero brand devices. "[W]e already have an extensive network and partnerships in place for channel and distribution, catering to the major African markets," he said in an announcement released on the Your Industry News website.

The conglomerate currently operates in 17 countries in MEA territories and Asia, the statement revealed.

Midcom Group said its cheapest Fero-brand devices are priced at $58 (€51.97), while its premium range of smartphones cost $180 and over. The company said some of its models are LTE compatible to enable it to cash in on growing deployments of the technology in Africa.

Kumar said the Fero range is designed to deliver "high quality yet affordable pricing" and that the devices will fill "a gap in the market serving the middle segment of society." The devices are all manufactured in China, the conglomerate said.

The MD explained that the African continent, in particular, presents "a unique set of challenges, especially around logistics, currency, pricing and after-sales service." He added that the group has "expanded and customised the [device] range accordingly to suit the needs of our consumers across various countries," noting that such a differentiated approach is necessary in Africa where "you cannot treat all the countries as one."

Kumar said the Fero range had been well received by end-users and major African mobile operators during a beta test of the devices conducted in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania in the back-half of 2015. The group sold a million handsets during the six-month beta test, which it noted was conducted with a limited range of the full Fero line-up.

For more:
- see this Your Industry News report
- view the Fero Devices webpage

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Pyramid Research: Smartphone sales in MEA to reach 238m units by 2020
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IDC: Detachables remain bright spot in declining MEA tablet market

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