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Evercomm looks to ignite SA’s mobile market with HTC Wildfire E Lite

HTC Wildfire E Lite.
HTC Wildfire E Lite.

Telecommunications technology and channel management services provider Evercomm is looking to break new ground within South Africa’s smartphone market with the release of the HTC Wildfire E Lite, available at a recommended retail price of R1 599.

In September 2020 Evercomm made headlines after announcing a rejuvenated, reorganised strategy to engage the South African market, one in which it is looking to establish a firm footing.

Evercomm spokesperson Craig Kidson.
Evercomm spokesperson Craig Kidson.

Spokesperson Craig Kidson confirmed that the company secured exclusive rights to relaunch the HTC mobile phone brand in South Africa, as well as the neighbouring African countries and Indian Ocean islands, and the pending release of the Wildfire series of HTC phones, including HTC E Lite, HTC E1, HTC E1 Plus and HTC E2.

The target strategy this time round will be the entry-level and mid-level markets, he added.

The HTC E Lite reflects the company’s ambition. Its look and feel, design and easy-to- manage features underline the company’s determination to be a mainstay competitor targeting the space between entry-level and mid-market users - those who use smartphone features, but are comfortable with a device that is uncomplicated, straightforward and on a level that is easy to access, use and maintain.

Its features include 5.45” HD 720*1440 Screen with 2.5D, 2GB RAM, expandable memory support, Voice-over-WiFi (VoWi-Fi), Bluetooth, 3G with Android Go V10 operating system.

It is also differentiated by its AI Face Lock and fingerprint sensor (which the company says is the only one in its class to have these two features), dual rear camera system (also the only one in its class to feature dual camera), 2GB+ 16GB + SD Card (best memory in its class), MTK 6761D Core 1.8Ghz (best CPU in its class) and 300MAH battery.

Evercomm remains in negotiation with all network operators in South Africa, and confirmed that as at January 2021, devices are available from Cell C and Vodacom.

Hard work ahead

The company is under no illusions as to the level of competition that exists in the local market, and acknowledges the sizeable task ahead to establish HTC as a household name.

According to StatCounter Global Stats, as of July 2020, Samsung leads in mobile vendor market share in Africa with 33.66%, Huawei with 17.64% and Apple with 11.08%.

The IDC’s newly released Global Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Africa's smartphone market remained flat in Q2 2020, experiencing just 0.1% growth QoQ, while the region's feature phone shipments declined 10.6%.

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report November 2020 mobile data traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is estimated to grow by almost 6.5 times the current figures, with total traffic increasing from 0.87EB per month in 2020 to 5.6EB by 2026. Meanwhile, average traffic per smartphone is expected to reach 8.9GB over the forecast period.

The report added that mobile subscriptions will continue to grow over the forecast period as mobile penetration today, at 84%, is less than the global average.

Evercomm has set its immediate target at 5% share per month within the next 24 to 30 months.

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