Turkcell pushes into smartphone production

The first smartphone to be wholly designed and built in Turkey will launch during 2013, domestic carrier Turkcell revealed at the Mobile World Congress.
Turkcell plans to follow up on its own-brand smartphones with the Gebze, which will be designed in-house and feature the operator’s own user interface. The device will initially be exported to other countries in the region, suggesting Turkcell may eventually seek to sell it in other global markets.
Sureyya Ciliv, Turkcell’s chief executive, says the development is a “milestone for our sector, as well as for Turkcell,” and that the new device aims to “lead and encourage other sector players to manufacture in Turkey.”
The operator also revealed a partnership with Qualcomm covering the US firm’s mobile chipsets during the event in Barcelona. Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president of Europe at Qualcomm, says the deal enables Turkcell to “develop applications unique to Turkish users,” and is an important step for Turkey as a whole.
Turkcell’s Gebze is the second in-house device announced by the carrier in recent weeks, after it detailed plans to launch its own tablet computer earlier this month.