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Pakistani retail chain bakes DEEELICIOUS Android mobes

Gourmet Foods set for sideways step into smartphone space

Sliced Bread

Pakistan could be about to get a delicious new domestic smartphone brand after sources close to retailer Gourmet Foods claimed the firm is planning an imminent launch in the mobile business.

Those unnamed sources told TechInAsia that the food retailer is prepping a low-cost Java handset and an Android 4.2-based smartphone for release in March.

The handsets will apparently be built by a Chinese ODM, with Gourmet anticipating sales of 50,000 units in the first six months.

The move is certainly a leap for the company, but shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to the locals.

Gourmet has already diversified over the past few years from its humble origins as a Lahore bakery into catering services, restaurants, home furnishings and pharmaceuticals.

Its move into the mobile device space appears to have been well planned, with the hire of Umair Tayyab as head of products and marketing.

Tayyab has worked for both Samsung and homegrown smartphone biz Qmobile and told TIA that Gourmet’s plan is to appeal to those Pakistani punters whose handset needs are currently not being met by his former employers.

This sideways move into the mobile space by Gourmet Foods is not unheard of.

UK retailers Argos, Tesco and Aldi have all released own-brand tablets recently while Philippine brewing giant San Miguel revealed last November that it would be launching its own mobile carrier business in 2014.

As an established brand name with over 500 stores nationwide, Gourmet has a ready-made distribution network and stands a decent chance of success … as long as the hardware is up to scratch.

Next door in India domestic handset brands accounted for around half of all smartphones shipped in the country, with local heroes Micromax and Karbonn coming second and third respectively in the rankings behind Samsung, according to the latest stats from IDC. ®

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