Former HTC marketer creates smartphone challenger brand

HTC’s former UK head of marketing James Atkins and head of sales Michael Coombes have joined forces to create a rival smartphone company they believe will “disrupt the status quo” in the already crowded mobile space.

Kazam logo

Kazam aims to stand out by focusing on “stunning design, robust hardware and intuitive technology”, which will be underpinned by “outstanding customer service” to ensure the brand experience does not stop at the point of purchase, the company’s owners say.

The company will initially focus on European markets, aiming to provide “quality smartphones” that are “accessible to everyone”.

It is not known whether Kazam will manufacture its own smartphones or make use of white label devices, but the start-up has established an R&D centre, which will be responsible for product design and product testing.

Kazam is currently in the process of employing sales and marketing staff across Europe and at its headquarters in Mayfair, London.

The company plans to launch its smartphone ranges “later this year”.

Atkins, who has taken up the position of CMO, told Marketing Week: “Clearly the need to stand for something is key in building a successful brand – we are confident Kazam will do just that.”

He adds: “There is a real opportunity for a new mobile brand to disrupt the status quo.  We are passionate about delivering a truly positive mobile experience that doesn’t just stop once you’ve bought the phone.  Kazam is about stunning design, robust hardware and intuitive technology, underpinned by outstanding customer service.”

Kazam has been set up by a group of private equity investors, who have previously launched and operated mobile telecommunications companies and technology businesses. Some of their current investments include NF Technology Limited, a research and development company specialising in developing and customising mobile phones and tablets, and Nichefinder (PTE Limited), a technology procurement and supply company.

Atkins and Coombes resigned from HTC in March, just days before the launch of its biggest ever marketing campaign to promote the launch of the “One” flagship handset. It is understood senior HTC UK marketing manager Gaelle Walton has assumed some of Atkins’ marketing responsibilities while the company searches for a replacement.  

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