Latest Podcast



Featured Articles

UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
How AI technology is transforming the smartphone experience

How AI technology is transforming the smartphone experience

From improved performance to personalized recommendations, AI is enhancing the functionality and usability of smartphones for users

By incorporating advanced algorithms and machine learning capabilities, AI can help to optimize a smartphone's performance, providing users with a faster, more efficient and user-friendly experience.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

European smartphone shipments fall to lowest Q1 total since 2013

A new report from Counterpoint Research's Market Monitor service shows European smartphone shipments dropping by 12% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. That's the lowest Q1 total since 2013.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Google announces new devices

Google announces new devices

Pixel Watch, smartphones, earbuds and more

Google's 2022 I/O conference for developers has seen the company previewing new products, including its Pixel 7 smartphone, a Pixel tablet and the first smartwatch entirely built by Google.
Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
RSS

Opinion Articles

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ruthless logic is revolutionary: we talk smartphones and customers with Kazam

Interview with Chief Marketing Officer James Atkins

Mark Bridge writes:

Earlier this month, London-based smartphone company Kazam announced seven new Android handsets. That's pretty impressive... and is an even more noteworthy feat when you consider the company didn't even exist at the beginning of the year.

Kazam was founded by Michael Coombes and James Atkins, who'd previously both held senior roles at HTC UK and Ireland. Michael is now Kazam's CEO, while James is Chief Marketing Officer.

To learn more about Kazam and its plans for the future, I met up with James Atkins last week. Before we started talking, he handed me his own phone - one of the mid-range Kazam devices - and I admitted to being pleasantly surprised. A soft-touch back cover and decent screen resolution gave the impression of a premium handset. Okay, so that's hardly a long-term test but this first glance certainly implied higher quality than the price tag might suggest. Even the top-spec handset is expected to sell for under £200 SIM-free.

So how did James end up co-founding a mobile phone business?

Image

“It starts when you've had a beer or two and you're putting the world to rights. You know, 'we could do this better', 'if we did it our way...'. It became frustrating seeing opportunities and, as a brand, not being able to take advantage of them. We're beating someone else's drum, essentially.  And so after having that conversation a number of times, we thought 'well, we can sit around and say this for the rest of our lives - or we could actually do it'. So we decided to do it.”

And how did they manage to set it up?

“A lot of it's down to strategy. It's recognising what your strengths are but also recognising what your limitations are. For us, we knew we had to get exceptional people on board. I don't know how to sell product in Poland, for example. We need to play to our strengths - we're good at developing product, we're good at producing product - but not trying to own everything ourselves. We outsource where we can.”

Around fifty people now work directly for Kazam, with another 300-400 employed by outsourced partners. Manufacturing is one of those areas that's been outsourced.

“That's something we shouldn't be shy about saying. For Kazam, it's about identifying the right product for the right consumer. We don't believe one size fits all. If we were to produce in-house or set up our own factories, we're then constrained by our own capabilities. As it stands, we have the flexibility of the market. What's important is that you have really robust product testing and quality assurance processes in place. And that's something we wouldn't outsource. If we launch a load of devices and they don't work, we're not going to be around for very long.”

Although James didn't want to reveal the names of the manufacturers he's working with - or details of the private equity partners who provided Kazam's start-up funding - he insisted that the smartphones weren't merely rebranded white-label products.

“I would say it's a hybrid. We have internal R&D: we can develop hardware and we can develop software. But if it's right for the market and there's an off-the-shelf product, why would we change it?  If it's nearly right, what we typically do is say 'we need to change this'. So it's a combination of lots of things.”

Asking whether the phones run stock Android - they do - prompted a glimpse into the ethos of Kazam.

“We talk about 'ruthless logic is revolutionary'. It's sort-of an internal mantra. There's a lot to be said for commonsense and not over-complicating things. 'Simple' is the ultimate refinement. A few years ago maybe it was necessary to refine the Android operating system. I think Android has become so good now, a lot of the skins are not necessarily enhancing it. If you read the forums, I think some people would suggest the opposite is happening.”

HTC, of course, has its own high-profile 'HTC Sense' user interface for Android devices. I bit my tongue at this point and asked James whether Kazam's focus on the consumer - a simple UI, a promise to replace broken screens, a support service that can 'take over' a customer's phone to solve problems - was filling a gap in the mobile industry.

“I think it's lacking at the moment. At the moment we're innovating in a customer support environment but we're not trying to carve that niche out of the market. What we are doing as a brand is looking at the end-to-end value chain and saying 'where are the opportunities to innovate in an area that is not just pixels and processors?'  What's important is that we're trying to innovate the complete proposition and not just the device.”

You can listen to the full interview on our website audio player or by downloading the mp3 file.

Alternatively, all our shows can be received automatically by subscribing free via iTunes, by using our RSS feed or on the Stitcher.com mobile app.
Print
Author: The Fonecast
2 Comments
Rate this article:
No rating

2 comments on article "Ruthless logic is revolutionary: we talk smartphones and customers with Kazam"

3
0
Avatar image

Jack B

11/29/2013 12:34 PM

where can I buy a Kazam from? I like the phones on their website.


0
0
Avatar image

The Fonecast

12/1/2013 1:13 PM

Already on sale in Spain; we're expecting a UK announcement before Christmas.

Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Recent Podcasts

Mobile industry predictions for 2015, from smartphones to spectrum

Podcast - 17th December 2014

The Fonecast predicts 2015: Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge gather round a sapphire crystal ball and make their forecasts for the next 12 months in the mobile industry.

Whose product line won't survive until December 2015? What will happen with the BT/EE merger? Which new features will be introduced by smartphone manufacturers?

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Mobile industry podcast: new smartphones, new network equipment and new insight

Podcast - 10th December 2014

It's time for another news-packed mobile industry podcast from TheFonecast.com, starting with the European Parliament's latest ruling on in-car emergency communication.

After that we're talking about Microsoft's departure from the Nook eBook business, Three UK's 4G growth, Acer's tablet-sized phone, EE's rural coverage solution and some interesting new research about mobile-enabled customer service.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

Takeovers, break-ups, national roaming, dubious advertising and the death of the landline

Podcast - 3rd December 2014

We begin this week's podcast with updates on two topics we discussed last week: the potential purchase of a UK mobile network by BT - and the crowd-funded Jolla Tablet.

After that we talk about the GSMA's reaction to national roaming, the potential death of the landline, a new threat to Google, management changes and advertising for 4G data.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

BT talks to O2, Nokia and Jolla announce new tablets, Apple Watch developers get started... and Ofcom plans for more mobile capacity

Podcast - 26th November 2014

In this week's podcast we're talking about the potential purchase of the O2 UK mobile network by BT.

We also discuss new tablets from Nokia and Jolla, the end of a patent battle, mobile payments via instant messaging, app development for the Apple Watch and plans to make even more spectrum available for mobile broadband in the UK .

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating

The week's UK mobile industry news, including BlackBerry, TalkTalk, 4G data and much more

Podcast - 19th November 2014

Time for another podcast presented by Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge. They begin this week's programme by talking about the latest enterprise-friendly developments from BlackBerry.

Next comes a new survey from Ofcom about the UK's 4G data speeds, followed by news about TalkTalk's MVNO deal with Telefonica, the growth of WiFi in the home and a report from AVG about social media sapping smartphone performance.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
RSS
245678910Last

Follow thefonecast.com

Twitter @TheFonecast RSS podcast feed
Find us on Facebook Subscribe free via iTunes

Archive Calendar

«February 2023»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272812345
6789101112

Archive

Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement