Local telecom company launches elite gold-plated handset
While the general economic outlook for Thailand has remained gloomy across the overall economy, there are sectors experiencing relatively good times and one of these is the niche market in luxury mobile technology.
The Sure Life Telecom company, a leading mobile device distributor, has created what it calls a Gold Elite Paris brand mobile handset. It has launched two versions of gold-plated handsets, the first called Gold Elite i6 and valued at 159,000 baht and the second, called Gold Elite i6 Plus, to retail at 179,000 baht.
The company’s managing director, Suthikiat Kittipattrakul, is quoted as saying Sure Life Telecom had launched the gold-plated mobile phones because he believed existing luxury mobile phone makers had failed to keep pace with advancing technology and he saw a gap in the market across the Asian region for these products.
He said his company had been authorised by Apple to take the iPhone model and modify it into luxury versions. Both released models have 128 gigabytes of storage and the company offers a 14-month warranty on the handsets.
Sure Life Telecom is aiming to sell at least 200 units in 2015, which would bring in revenue of around 32 million baht. The luxury handset market was valued at 500 million baht in 2011 but had declined sharply over the last three years as luxury phone makers failed to keep pace with innovations in the general marketplace. In 2014 the valuation of the luxury handset market had declined to around 200 million baht.
In September, Sure Life Telecom plans to outlay around five million baht to open its first Gold Elite shop, which will be inside the newly-opened EmQuartier shopping mall on Sukhumvit Road.
Sure Life Telecom presently only operates kiosks inside shopping centres and Suthikiat said the company plans to spend a further 10 million baht on a marketing campaign to build brand awareness. He is of the opinion the luxury mobile handset market could grow to around the 300 million baht mark this year.
The company had revenues of 1.5 billion baht in 2014 across all its divisions and it is aiming to increase its overall turnover by between 10 and 15 percent this year.
As part of its ongoing plans for growth, Sure Life Telecom is looking to expand into key markets across Asia, having identified five markets it believes offer the best opportunities for growth: namely, Indonesia and Malaysia in the Asean sphere and Hong Kong, South Korea and India further afield.
The management of the Emporium Shopping Complex Company believes the Gold Elite concept fits perfectly with their trendy-luxury mall concept.