Emblaze Mobile finished the year in a flurry of activity. It announced an agreement which will see Virgin Mobile selling some of its handsets on an exclusive basis.They will be available via all the Virgin Mobile channels but will also appear in Dixons stores.
Virgin Mobile’s sales and marketing director Graeme Hutchinson sees some synergy: “Emblaze’s attitude and outlook is very akin to our own and they understand that Virgin Mobile has a reputation for focusing on the needs of the customer”.
The phone, the Sting 6, is described as “especially customised for the 16-24 age group” – including quite attractive pricing: below £80 for a stylish clamshell with 1.3 megapixel camera and up to 16x digital zoom, 65K colour screen, and a generous 64MB memory.
And just before Christmas Emblaze acquired a majority stake in distributor European Telecom, giving it direct access to retail and the major network operators.
Emblaze actually bought 51% of Global Telecoms Distribution, ET’s holding company. ET’s MD John Drinkwater and finance director Jim Mann will stay in their jobs.
Emblaze Mobile says the investment is in line with its strategy of becoming “a major supplier of advanced handsets to European mobile network operators”. Specifically it will give Emblaze “greater control and flexibility over its handset distribution”.
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