Tuesday, 19 February 2019 11:47

Alcatel rings bell for independent audit of industry smartphone sales

Sam Skontos, VP and Regional Managing Director, South East Asia & Pacific, for Alcatel Sam Skontos, VP and Regional Managing Director, South East Asia & Pacific, for Alcatel

Australia's no.3 smartphone seller, according to IDC stats, is Alcatel, and it has challenged the industry to show "greater accountability as misleading claims threaten the credibility of the mobile phone category in Australia".

Alcatel's regional managing director, Sam Skontos, today issued a challenge to his fellow competitors in the Australian mobile phone category, urging them to be "part of an independently audited review of industry sales".

The move comes after what Alcatel believes are a "string of recent false claims and incorrect information permeating the industry, a move that Skontos believes is ultimately misleading consumers and retail partners alike as to the true strength of brands in this dynamic category".

Next week will also see the industry come together in Barcelona for MWC, — formerly known as Mobile World Congress — an occasion that sees major brands release their 2019 range and beyond.

Quoting recent figures from IDC, as can be seen in the photo below, these figures "reveal the true state of the Australian industry and the volume moved by the key brands in this space".

Of course, the figures do show Apple making about four times the number of Alcatel's (TCL's) sales which also include Telstra and Optus figures, and Samsung making double the sales of Alcatel's combined figures.

In any case, Alcatel notes: "The data, based on each company’s input directly to IDC, reflects sell-in of unit volumes. It shows that in calendar year 2018, Alcatel shipped more than 490,000 Alcatel-branded devices. Add in devices co-branded with Telstra and Optus, and Alcatel shipped close to a million devices in Australia in 2018.

"Such results keep Alcatel firmly in the number 3 position in the market by volume, essentially doubling the nearest competitor. Alcatel has now held the number 3 position in Australia for 3.5 years, or 14 consecutive quarters. It has done so by continuing to deliver affordable innovation that enables consumers to buy cost-effective but highly-featured devices outright for a fraction of the cost of a high-end device.

"Despite such clarity of figures, and data towards which all brands voluntarily contribute, other smaller studies and reports continue to muddy the waters, according to Skontos".

Sam Skontos, whose full title is "vice-presiddent and regional managing director, South East Asia & Pacific, for Alcatel", said: "In the last few months alone we have seen more than a few attempts by our competitors to peddle false information in the market.

"It is disappointing that they think it is OK to make such claims so flippantly when the very data they provide IDC proves them wrong.

“While some may put it down to bravado, this is a serious industry issue. It impacts on retail and customer decisions, and affects consumer purchase.

"Despite this being a high profile industry given everyone’s fascination with their mobile devices, it is also an industry that has allowed misleading information, hyperbole and plain falsehoods to go unchecked for a long time now.

“As disappointing as it is to hear our competitors claim the space we have rightfully earned, it is perhaps more disappointing to see so many of these claims simply go unchallenged from the industry bodies, market research groups, analyst reports and often those in the media who take such statements as fact.

“I am happy to put my money where my mouth is. I challenge the top 10 brands to agree to an independent, confidential audit of their financials.

"I will be contacting my counterparts over the next week or so and will happily publish who is willing to show their results to an independent auditor and those that refuse. I think the outcome will be interesting.

"I also simply ask that when any sweeping statements get raised by companies in this space, they are appropriately challenged and vetted, as we are doing today by backing up our statements with the only accurate snapshot of the industry", Skontos concluded.

So, Alcatel is raising hell over what it seemingly rightly perceives are wildly inaccurate claims from the likes of OPPO over its sales, and is ringing the bell for greater transparency, and if you ask me, that's a call the industry should definitely answer, and shouldn't hang up on!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.





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