HTC breakaway startup announces handsets, it’s all about the care, not the ware
Kazam, a startup handset maker put together by a bunch of ex-HTC execs, has announced their first 7 devices. Unlike their former employer, however, Kazam’s founders think that customer relations will pave the road towards more sales and, ultimately, success.
Before we get into details about the actual hardware, let’s just sit for a moment and ponder as to what worked for HTC and what didn’t. While the HTC One is a very capable and competitive device, what HTC does lack is strong ties with its consumer-base. When we talk about consumers, we’re referring to the end-user, or the people that are actually handling and using the company’s handsets on the daily. One could say that once the handset is off the showroom floor, the policy for HTC seems to be hands off until another purchase rolls around.
Certainly, the Taiwan-based company has made various attempts at switching gear to create closer bonds between itself and its end-user. A lot of love and attention probably went into the creation of its Sense UI, and of course the pursuit of ‘premium’ feels with a unibody design of its One line of products. Still, HTC is continuing to hemorrhage money as it tries to promote itself as the best of the best amongst handset makers.
Strong end-user ties don’t come about overnight and HTC dug itself a giant hole by alienating its users through poor support throughout the years. So what can Kazam do differently? Supposedly, these former HTC employees think that total dedication to its customer is the key formula to a successful mobile business.
Kazam will offer one-year warranty on all devices; this includes any accidents that may occur throughout that period. The price of such customer support has a high cost, and the hardware Kazam will deliver will be nowhere near what most people would consider as ‘high-end.’
The company’s high-end handset, dubbed the Kazam Thunder Q4.5, will sport a 4.5-inch display at 854×480, a 1.3GHz quad-core, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear shooter, and a measly 4GB of internal storage. Internal space aside (because that’s what SD cards are for), just looking at the specs alone we can safely assume that Kazam isn’t trying to make the beefiest handset. So would you consider buying the Thunder Q4.5 if it came with an extremely attractive warranty package (and hopefully price tag)?
Pricing and availability of the high-end Kazam Thunder Q4.5 are not available yet, but if sincerity and care is truly what these ex-HTC employees are going for then perhaps there will be people standing in line to purchase the handset.
Kazam’s business model isn’t disruptive to the mobile tech world by any measures, but it is one that the Android-based ecosystem is severely lacking. Android’s fragmentation among manufacturers cause a variety of problems for users of Google’s popular mobile platform, and up until now not many hardware seem to care enough about its users to offer constant quality updates and support.
With Android KitKat already out and about, Kazam has to make sure it puts effort into getting the latest Google treat up and running on its hardware. Besides, with some of the optimization and tweaks that are present in Android 4.4, it’ll be to the startup’s benefit to have KitKat ready before another update arrives. Software development is intensive work for any handset maker, but Kazam wants to be what HTC isn’t. We’ll see if these ex-HTC employees can follow through with their idea of putting Android users first. For now, though, it doesn’t appear like Kazam will shake things up much, as their recently announced handsets will come with the rather dated Android 4.2.