Gtel claims market share, sets eyes beyond borders

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HARARE-Local mobile phone manufacturer Gtel has sold close to 1 million smartphones since 2009 and is looking at spreading its wings on the continent.

Gtel was born from the ashes of G-Tide whose cellphones failed to penetrate the market.

Gtel chief executive officer Chamunorwa Shumba said the company was hoping to have sold 1 million since inception.

“From 2009 to date, we have sold 900 000 smartphones,” Shumba said, adding that the environment “forces you to look out”.

“We are looking at expanding in Africa. We now have an office in Kenya. We are hoping to do well in Kenya,” he said.

Gtel CEO Chamunorwa Shumba demonstrates how the new smartphone works on Wednesday

Chamunorwa Shumba

The push to Kenya is designed to tap into the lucrative market where demand for smartphones, especially among the youth, was booming.

Although there was demand for smartphones on the local market, low disposable incomes have hindered the purchase of the phones.

Meanwhile, Gtel unveiled a new smartphone SL 5,5 Extra which rivals established brands such as Samsung’s S6 and Apple’s iPhone 6.

Gtel said the new phone has a longer battery life which lasts up to two days. Buyers of the new phones will get an amount of free voice calls, sms and data per month for a year courtesy of Gtel’s partnership with Telecel.