BenQ in talks with Australian telcos following Kogan smartphone partnership

Could go head-to-head against Taiwanese rival Asus next year

BenQ is in talks with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to stock its range of smartphones following its debut of the Kogan Agora 4G smartphone.

The Taiwanese electronics company has commenced negotiations with Australia’s leading telcos to have its range of smartphones launched locally, said Martin Moelle, the managing director of BenQ Australia.

“I'm talking to the carriers in Australia about launching other models. We’ve been talking to carriers here since last year,” Moelle told Good Gear Guide during an interview.

“I don’t think you’ll see anything this year, in terms of products for end users. It’ll probably be next year due to testing cycles.”

BenQ’s subsidiary, BenQ-Siemens, previously operated in the Australian market with the launch of a feature phone in 2006. The subsidiary's stint was short lived as it filed for bankruptcy later that year.

Today BenQ re-entered the smartphone market with the launch of Kogan’s Agora 4G, a smartphone manufactured by BenQ. Moelle said it marks the first step in the company’s local smartphone strategy.

“It’s our first smartphone in Australia,” said Moelle. “Australia and New Zealand being a developed market is important for us. All the developed markets for us is key.”

“We approached Kogan to make the [Agora 4G]. Kogan was sourcing other phones from China.”

The Agora 4G undercuts rivalling smartphone on price from Motorola, Nokia, Huawei and Google. The 5 in smartphone has a quad-core CPU, runs Android 4.4 KitKat and, as its moniker denotes, supports 4G connectivity, but for a lower $229 price. The aggressive price point, coupled with the Kogan’s brand recognition, should see many customers calling this BenQ smartphone their own.

BenQ will compete with Taiwanese rival Asus, which revealed to <i>Good Gear Guide</i> its ambitions to launch its ZenFones on carrier networks next year.

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Tags smartphonesTelstraoptusBenQAGora 4GVodaphone

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Tony Ibrahim
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