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COMPANY SITE | http://www.bluproducts.com/
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KEY MOBILE TRENDS: commoditization, MediaTek, China
There are many smartphone vendors around the globe that I have never heard of. Most of them are based in China or India or other Asian markets. Here is one that is not. BLU Products. BLU who?
I don't think I had heard of BLU until earlier this month. According to the company's website, BLU was founded in 2009 "by Latin American entrepreneurs" and is headquartered in Miami. "More than one million BLU mobile devices have been sold in 25 countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S." These are not huge volumes for the handset market, but BLU seems to have found a niche.
BLU sells both feature phones and Android-based smartphones, all of which are certainly imported from a Chinese manufacturer. The newsworthy point here is the relatively low prices of their recently announced devices. One Android phone, called "LIFE Play," will sell for $229 on Amazon and other sites. Life Play is 7.9mm thin, has a 4.7-inch HD (720p?) screen, an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p recording, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, a microSD expansion slot, and support GSM and HSPA networks. And apparently it's dual SIM. There's no LTE support, but this might not have much consequence in some target markets. This smartphone and other Android handsets recently announced by BLU are based on top of a MediaTek quad-core chipset.
Last week we saw a 5-inch, 1080p smartphone from a Chinese called Neo for around $145 in China. It's clear where things are headed.
BLU Products "LIFE Play," a dual-SIM, 4.7-inch Android smartphone for $229: