By Vernon Velasco | Special to the BusinessMirror
WHERE Samsung and iPhone are the order of the day, local mobile-phone brands, like CloudFone, does more than a radical rethink of how to challenge the status quo to be the dynamic and leading contender that it is in the ever-intensifying race for mobile-market supremacy.
“Tech leaders, like Apple, are actually the drivers of technology. If you notice, they were the first ones to tell the world that a phone should be on a touchscreen. Nobody generally accepted that in the beginning,” Cellprime Distribution Corp. President and CEO Eric Yu told the BusinessMirror.
While everybody generally likes to change consumer behavior and the way people use certain things with the products that they create (think Apple Watch Samsung Edge), CloudFone takes a step higher up the evolutionary ladder by refusing to change the way people do things.
“We don’t change consumer behavior. Our No. 1 goal is to understand consumer behavior and create products that will solve their daily problems and make their lives better,” Yu said. “We understand what they need and what they do, and we base our products on those needs and generally anticipate what they are wanting and needing in the future.”
As CloudFone’s goal is to be the benchmark local mobile-phone company, Yu said that to be a leading technology brand means being one that enables Filipinos to have access to the Internet by providing devices complementary to different lifestyles. If it means making products that are not just beautifully designed and user-friendly, but ones that never compromise design, quality and customer service for price.
“Inexpensive doesn’t have to be cheap. Consumers appreciate what we do with our devices, and the way we price our products,” Yu said. “I think that, in the future, the consumers are going to realize that a P5,000 phone can do the same thing as a P20,000 phone. When that day comes, it means we’ve achieved our goal of telling our consumers that quality can be not that expensive.”
Striving, as always, for quality by being the first in a lot of things, CloudFone products, according to Yu, were the first in the country to have an exceptional battery life. They were the first local mobile brands to launch dual OS. They were the first to launch certain versions of Android. “At the end of the day, you are only as good as your next first.”
Moreover, the way CloudFone looks at things is that its core strength is its unprecedented partnership with technology companies and brands across the globe to achieve scale: companies that believe what it believes.
“We buy chipsets together, components together, so we can drive down cost. Because it doesn’t really help brands and serve consumers if we create cheap products with cheap specs,” Yu said. “We really want to change that inexpensive-equals-cheap mind-set, and the only way to do that is to make partnering with different brands in the world our business model.”
CloudFone has established a proactive collaboration with giant local companies (PBA, Blink, ABS-CBN), as well as globally reputable partners (Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Tinno, Disney, Microsoft, NBA, Opera Max and Spotify).
“These partnerships help elevate us as a brand and also help elevate the way we build our products. Working with global companies really helps us learn about global business. That’s what separates us from any other local brands,” Yu stressed.
Yu said that, in the years ahead, CloudFone will continue leveraging on and making more content partnerships.
“I continue to see very innovative stuff coming from the app-development world, and, being a device company, it is of our best interest to work with best app developers and the best content providers to create products that will run very smoothly,” Yu said. “Case in point: People who want to play NBA 2k17 can’t play those game on a ‘cheap’ phone. The specs just won’t do magic. The way we see ourselves moving forward to the future is we’re inclined toward breaking that barrier. We make sure that all apps that run on a high-end device, like iPhone and Samsung, will run just as well on a CloudFone.