UK startup, Kazam, run by ex-HTC executives, has this week announced it will introduce 7 new smartphone and 3 tablet models to the UK and European markets in the first half of 2015. They will eventually enter up to 15 countries, like Poland, Spain, etc.
The models being launched (at MWC) are the Trooper 445L (LTE), 440L, 450, 450L and 455 smartphones with Android, the Thunder 450W and 450WL smartphones with Microsoft, and the L10, L8 and L7 tablets with Microsoft.
Ths is a courageous move from Kazam, famous for previously developing one of the world's slimmest smartphones (<6mm). The vendor is now positioning to sell cost-competitive 4G LTE devices to prepaid and postpaid consumers. Kazam is hoping to copy the relative success of other niche vendors like Wiko in France and BQ in Spain.
However, our CST (Country Share Tracker) service guides that Kazam will struggle to become a major pan-European smartphone-tablet player in 2015. Here are three main reasons why:
1. The Western and Eastern European LTE smartphone market is already very crowded. Apple and Samsung dominate, leaving little room for new entrants like Kazam;
2. Kazam is trying to differentiate on aftersales service. For example, replacing a cracked screen within the first year. But, if the system proves popular, it will be easily copied by Samsung or LG with big display assets;
3. Kazam lacks retail distribution online and offline. It will take years to get on store shelves around the European continent and worldwide. Will Kazam have the funds to support such a long-term expansion? Or will it be quickly flipped and sold off to a bigger rival? Time will tell.