Real good news for Xda-lovers in the Middle East region because O2 Asia announced yesterday that it will be introducing a range of stylish and innovative devices into the Middle East markets soon, starting with the O2 Xda Atom, the smallest multimedia Pocket PC Phone Edition yet.
O2 Asia Pacific is a member of the O2 group in Europe, which comprises mobile network operators in the UK and Ireland, along with integrated fixed/mobile businesses in Germany, the Czech Republic (Cesky Telecom) and the Isle of Man (Manx Telecom) and is already known worldwide for its range of stylish and innovative Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC Phone Editions and Smartphones.
According to IDC, O2 Asia alone captured a third of the worldwide Windows Mobile converged mobile device market in the first half of 2005. This makes O2 the No. 1 vendor of Worldwide Microsoft OS-based Converged Mobile Devices in that period (source: IDC, September 2005). Besides hitting impressive shipment numbers, O2 has also been decorated by Microsoft in 2005 with the Asia Fastest Growth Award for Pocket PC phone, and cited by Media Magazine as one of the Top 1000 Brands that year.
"O2 has certainly accomplished a lot since we started the device business in Asia Pacific three years ago. When we launched our first device, the O2 Xda, we essentially created the mobile converged devices category and we have been a market leader in the industry since. The Middle East holds huge potential for us and we are pleased to finally be able to bring our products, expertise, and the singular O2 brand experience to benefit customers here," said Mr Mark Billington, CEO of O2 Asia.
O2 has appointed the Dubai-based Unitec L.L.C. (in Dubai, also i-mate is located) to distribute its devices in the Gulf region, starting with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain (where it will distribute through its subsidiary company United Telecom). Unitec L.L.C. was selected for its wide distribution network, focus, industry experience and passion for the O2 brand. O2 has also partnered with Technocare to deliver exemplary after-sales service and support across the Gulf region.
"We are delighted to have found such strong partners to support our business and vision here. We are confident that together we can build a solid distribution foundation matched by strong customer service for a successful O2 presence in the Middle East," said Mr Chia Eng Keat, O2's VP Sales North Asia and Middle East.
The Xda Atom is the first of at least five new devices O2 will launch in the Middle East this year. With smooth curves and a sleek black shell, it runs on the latest Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 platform and is powered by an Intel processor. The Xda Atom will appeal to those who need mobile entertainment, productivity and connectivity in a sexy form factor no bigger than a deck of cards. It is available in stores in April.
An estimated retail price wasn't given yet.
Cheers ~ Arne