Wiko smart phones on display at Gitex Shopper being held at Dubai World Trade Centre. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Wiko, the French smartphone brand which entered the UAE market, is challenging the smartphone industry with its trendy and colourful mobile phones.

“The success story in Europe is changing the way consumers in mature markets like to choose smartphones now,” David Garcia, head of international development at Wiko, told Gulf News after the launch event on Tuesday. “Our engineers and developers are based in France but the phone is manufactured in China.”

Wiko launched seven models with prices ranging from Dh399 to Dh1,399.

“We are not only going to be aggressive in the price range but also on technology. The brain behind the phone is European and you need to be based in Europe to understand the needs of the European people,” he said.

Last year, Wiko was available in France and Germany and sold three million units globally. Now we are available in 18 countries. The company plans to enter Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Morocco and UK before end of the year.

He said that Wiko’s forecast is to sell five million units for the year and 12 million by 2015. “Our plan is to double our sales volume every year and enter 50 counties by 2015. By 2017, we expect to reach 50 million devices sold across 70 countries.”

Wiko expects to attain 10 per cent market share in the UAE in the next one year.

When asked how Wiko is going to be competitive in the sub $300 price range, which is getting very competitive, he said that Wiko has the best balance in the industry with design, technology, quality and price.

With the distinction of becoming France’s second largest selling smartphone after Samsung after just three years, he said that Wiko is now setting a new direction for the smartphone market.

Wiko was established in February 2011.

“Customers know what they want and they want value for money. They cannot be fooled anymore,” he said.

He said there is a market for everyone but you just need to find your customers. “We don’t have to find our customers as we already know our audience. We call them Wiko generation. They are customers between 15 and 40 years old that look for fashionable products and to be different from top players,” he said.

The UAE market sells 550,000 mobile phones per month and Garcia sees a chance for every player. “Everybody cannot afford Apple. Why Apple has changed its new iPhone design to be beautiful. They know that there are consumers who will consume this new design,” he said.