Intensifying the competition in the Nepal handset market, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu recently debuted in Nepal with its two ‘M’ series phones namely, M3 Note and M3s. Established in 2003, The Guangdong-based consumer electronics brand Meizu produced its first handset in 2008. It is now among the top five smartphone brands in China. Gagan Shrestha of New Business Age caught up with Leon Zhang, Meizu Marketing Head for South Asia and Anmitra Sharma, General Manger and Business Head of Meizu in Nepal during the launch of the phones to talk about the company’s Nepali market foray, its smartphones and future plans here. Excerpts:
What differentiates Meizu from Chinese and other global smartphone brands? What are the USPs of Meizu products?
Zhang: We have produced some of the finest devices. Our products are equipped with the latest technologies. For instance, our products offer high-end cameras and battery life to users. Users can use our phones for two straight days on a single full charge. We have used advanced fingerprint sensors in our handsets. Similarly, our phones are attractively crafted design wise. These key factors differentiate us from the other brands. We want to provide unique device experiences to our users.
Sharma: When Meizu came into the market, there were already many smartphone brands. However, our brand now has around 20 million users worldwide and the number has been constantly growing. Our devices are innovative and technologically driven and user friendly. Meizu is the first Android handset maker to use fingerprint recognition system in smartphones that slowly became a technological revolution.
How many smartphones are there in your portfolio at present? How is the brand positioned globally?
Zhang: Right now, we have three different ranges- Pro, MX and M series. The Pro series has our flagship models, MX targets the business class and M series handsets, young users. The M3s and M3 Note are from the M series.
Currently, we are among the top five smartphone brands in China. It has not been long since we started our overseas operations. So, right now it is difficult to say about our global position. Our products are sold in more than 40 countries across the globe.
Quality versus price has been a raging issue in the global gadget market currently. How is Meizu balancing these two factors?
Zhang: Despite the price of handsets being a factor regarding the product choice for consumers, it is not a necessary aspect for everyone. We are focused more on the quality of the products. Nonetheless, Meizu is providing lots of features at affordable price points.
Sharma: With all the specifications available in Meizu handsets, price should not be a factor. You would not get devices with such specifications at the price points our products have.
How do you find the smartphone market in Nepal? What are your expectations here?
Zhang: The smartphone market is growing rapidly in Nepal. With this impression, we have introduced reasonably priced yet high featured phones. So, we definitely have high expectations.
Who are your target customers in Nepal? What can they expect from Meizu?
Zhang: The M series is especially focused for young people. It is for those who use smartphones for internet surfing/social media, camera purposes, gaming and music.
Sharma: We are mainly targeting the tech savvy urban population here. After we are well established among the urban populace, we will penetrate into the rural areas.
Stiff competition can be observed among handset brands in the Nepali gadget market. How is Meizu prepared for the competition here?
Zhang: We are very confident about our products. We focus on innovations rather than competing with others.
Sharma: Mobile subscription in Nepal has exceeded the country’s population at present. Half of the population of Nepal is connected to the internet. This clearly shows the potential of the Nepali market. When some country poses high growth potential, brands are attracted towards that particular market. As Meizu has been competing all over the world, we will also put in our sincere efforts to top the market here.
What are your promotion plans here?
Sharma: We will have short-term promotion planning. Since planning every two to three months can be more effective, we are not going for long term plans for the time being. We have organised a small launching event in Narayanghat and have some promotional activities there. Right now, we have plans until the Dashain festival.