Netease Tech, 3/30/12
In a March 30 interview, Guo Aiping, CEO of TCL Communication Technology (2618.HK) and senior vice president of TCL Corporation (000100.SZ), said that TCL Communication plans to release more than 30 new smartphone models in 2012, and will ensure that smartphones account for 20% or more of total shipments. TCL Communication has two mobile handset brands - "TCL" and "Alcatel" - and will shift the emphasis for both brands to smartphone handsets starting this year.
According to Xiao Feng, GM of TCL Communication's e-commerce center, the company's TCL brand is sold primarily through real-world channels - while the youth- and fashion-oriented Alcatel brand relies mainly on e-commerce sales channels. In mid-April TCL Communication will launch an Alcatel-branded smartphone, the OT 979, through the Alibaba Group's B2C e-commerce site TMall. The RMB 1,680 handset, as announced March 30, will run Android 2.3 and feature a 4" high-resolution WVGA display, a 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, and a 1500 mAH battery.
Xiao said that e-commerce channels were not yet a primary channel for smartphone sales, but were showing rapid growth. Approximately 13% of all WCDMA smartphones sold in China are sold through e-commerce channels.
In 2011, TCL Communication sold 43.6 mln mobile phones and other products, a YoY increase of 20% over 2010. Smartphones accounted for 1.4 mln of these, a relatively small percentage of the total.