Does anyone remember Sendo? The upstart handset maker was going to shake up the mobile phone business with radical designs and latest technology. Sendo wanted to b
ye synonymous with smartphones. It was just talk – a few mistakes, a fist fight with Microsoft, and before you knew party was over. Remnants of Sendo live somewhere inside Motorola, but barely.
Sendo is a case study in why it is hard to compete with M.E.N (Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia) in the mobile business. And it is one of the reasons why we are skeptical about the chances of Neoconsumer Electronic Products, a startup with operations in Dubai, Cyprus and UK. The company has thrown its hat in the mobile phone ring.
Neo is all set to launch a new generation of mobile phones that are fashionable to own and technologically advanced to use. Currently in talks with global distributors and networks, Neo phones are slated for a March 2007 launch in the Middle East and will be available in Europe by April…
The style and fashion arguments being offered by the company are backed by some clever designs (at least in screenshots) but we feel that between designs and market adoption is a gulf as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Unless a start-up has powerful friends, like Microsoft, Vodafone, Orange (as in case of HTC), or a core home market (China for example) or a big brand, like Apple (and even that remains to be seen), it is not easy to succed in the mobile handset market.
The first handset they plan to launch is a tri-band phone called 808i, and this will be followed up by two more – the Curve and Flip. The later two are likely to be launched in the third and fourth quarters of 2007 respectively. Three designs over a period of nine-months is not enough to compete with the big boys who crank out new phones every month.
Still, we will give Neo full marks for trying, but will also remind them of Sendo. Find some friends, fast or else Neo is going to get old pretty quickly.
Photos courtesy of Neo.