Obi Mobiles, the new technology brand co-founded by veteran marketer and former Apple CEO John Sculley, today announced its launch in to the Middle East market, unveiling five new devices earmarked for the region. The range of mobile devices that go on sale today include Obi’s flagship 5” octa-core smartphone, the Octopus S520, which retails at AED799; the Hornbill S551 at AED599; the Falcon S451 at AED599; the Wolverine S501 at AED399, and a power bank feature phone, F240, which retails at just AED99. Jumbo Electronics has been appointed as the exclusive distributor for Obi Mobiles in the region. Jumbo will manage distribution across all channels in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq markets.
Obi Mobiles is a new venture launched by Sculley’s Toronto based Investment and Acquisition Company, Inflexionpoint. The brand marked its global launch in India earlier this year. Targeted at the large population of young and trendy smartphone users, Obi devices were well received in the sub-continent. Now focused on accelerating its international ambitions, starting with the Middle East markets, Obi aims to expand to Africa and South America in the coming months.
“Smartphone penetration in many parts of the world is seeing staggered growth, with consumers exploring options or delaying purchases due to the high cost of investment,” explains John Sculley, co-founder and managing partner at Inflexionpoint. “While smartphone growth figures in emerging markets, soaring at +32% CAGR, look promising, we believe there is scope for doubling the growth by increasing accessibility in the market through aggressive pricing and a strong pipeline of products. At Obi, we believe in building global brands and effective partnerships to channel our products to the right target groups.”
Speaking on Obi’s partnership with Jumbo Electronics, Vishesh Bhatia, chief executive officer at Jumbo Electronics, adds: “We are excited to be partnering with Obi, a brand that has been co-founded by John Sculley, one of the most influential marketers in the world. Our campaign to achieve Obi’s growth targets in the region will kick-off with a special showcase at Gitex Shopper this year, and be carried forward through dedicated sales and marketing strategies in target markets in the region.”
The Obi devices being launched in the Middle East include:
Octopus S520 – OS with a crunch
The flagship smartphone from Obi Mobiles, the Octopus S520 packs in high performance with the latest Android Kit Kat 4.4 operating system, powered by a 1.7 GHz Octa Core processor, making time lags a thing of the past. Futuristically designed with a stunning full-aluminum back cover, the Octopus S520 comes in a sleek 8.4mm form factor, with a capacitive 5” HD IPS Touch Screen that responds to even the slightest touch. The smartphone also features an 8MP camera with lightning flash, delivering every image at a 1280 X 720 HD display resolution. The in-built IPS technology also ensures that the screen can be viewed from a wider viewing angle. Offering dual SIM capabilities, both 3G-enabled, the Octopus S520 offers incredible value at just AED799.
Obi Falcon S451 – the ‘selfie’ master
One of the world’s first smartphones with a rotating camera, the Falcon S541 from Obi takes away the hassle from capturing that perfect selfie. The 5” smartphone, with an IPS qHD Screen, features an 8MP auto focus camera that rotates 206 degrees, and also offers dual flash for perfect imaging even in low light conditions. The Falcon S451 runs on a 1.3 GHz Dual Core Processor, with 4GB ROM and 1GB RAM, and is powered by a strong 2200 mAH Lithium battery. It retails for AED599.
Obi Hornbill S551 – elegance and functionality rolled in to one
Styled to perfection, the 5.5” Hornbill S551 weighs just 145 grams, making it an ergonomically superior option for smartphone users. Uncompromising on performance, the device operates on Android KitKat v4.4.2, powered by an MTK, MT6582 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor. With an 8MP camera, the Hornbill S551 offers up to 4GB memory that is expandable to 32GB of external memory support. The device retails at AED599.
Obi Wolverine S501 – premium inside-out
The Obi Wolverine S501 impresses with its fine grain leather exterior and top-of-the-line features. The 5” smartphone offers the efficiency of Android KitKat 4.4, powered by a 1.2GHz Dual Core Processor, with 1GB RAM and 4GB expandable memory. For added convenience, the Wolverine is designed with a Rear Key that utilizes the index finger’s natural position to control volume, lock the screen and switch off the phone. With a 5MP flash-enabled camera, and front VGA camera, the dual SIM (3G +3G) device offers great value at AED399.
Obi F240 –power on the go
The Obi range also includes the Obi F240 – a feature phone, equipped with a high capacity 3000mAH battery, and a convenient power bank option to recharge other mobile devices. The handy device also offers essential mobile functionality, including a 0.3MP primary camera, loudspeaker, Bluetooth, as well as dual SIM (GSM + GSM) capabilities as just AED99.
Amit Rupchandani, Managing Director for the MENA region at Obi Mobiles confirms that Obi plans to unveil a steady pipeline of top quality mobile devices for the Middle East market. “We are working with a team of professional designers in the US to build the Obi portfolio, and will be adding a number of exciting new models to the range in 2015, which will be available at aggressive price points determined by market trends,” he says.