Orange has launched new 4 new smartphones, all featuring LTE. The devices come in at a range of price points aimed at boosting LTE adoption in Orange’s European footprint. The four devices are:
- Nura 2 features a 5.5 inch, 1080p display with an octa-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 3000mAh battery, a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera. The price is €239 and it is built for Orange by TCL. The Nura 2 was designed in conjuction with China Mobile.
- Dive 70 features a 5 inch 720p display along with Qualcomm quad-core chipset, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel rear camera. The Dive 70 also features Yahoo’s Aviate launcher. The Huawei made Dive 70 is priced at €139.
- Dive 50 boasts a 4.5 inch FWVGA display, a quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 0.3 megapixel front camera. Like the Nura 2, the Dive 50 is made by TCL and it is priced at €89.
- Dive 30 has a 4 inch WVGA display, a quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 0.3 megapixel front camera. It is manufactured by ZTE and priced at €79.
All devices run Android 5.1 with an Orange UI that can be disabled in the set up process. The Orange UI is aimed at new smartphone users.
The release of these four handsets is an aggressive move by Orange to drive 4G into lower segments of the market. Orange’s European footprint includes Spain, Poland, Slovakia and Romania – countries where 4G uptake is currently below 20%. These are also prepay heavy markets where the up-front cost of pricey 4G smartphones is a major barrier to adoption.
Orange knows that the target market for these devices will generally not be tech savvy, so it has prioritised ease of use with its UI and battery life in the design of the handsets. Orange is showing good awareness of its place in the handset market and this should lead to not only improved sales of Orange’s devices, but more importantly, from Orange’s point of view, increased customer loyalty. The inclusion of Yahoo’s Aviate launcher is an interesting experiment as well and gives the Dive 70 some clear differentiation in the market as well.
The interesting move is Orange launching an own branded smartphone with premium specs. The Nura 2 will be competing against other 4G handsets and will help achieve Orange’s primary aim. It does however provide consumers choosing between less well known, low cost brands such as ZTE, Huawei or TCL Alcatel with an alternative backed by a known and trusted brand. It may seem like Orange has to walk a fine line here to appease its device partners, but the intense competition in the Android smartphone space mitigates the risk of alienating a partner.