- Avenir Telecom, a licensee of Energizer Holdings, will release 26 new smartphone models among four product lines bearing the Energizer brand at the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona on Feb. 25-28, according to a tweet by the brand. The models will include a foldable smartphone, one equipped with a large battery and others with pop-up selfie cameras, 9to5Google reported.
- The Power Max and Ultimate lines each includes several Android devices, including a smartphone with a powerful 18,000-milliamp-hour battery. In comparison, an iPhone XS Max has a battery capacity of 3,174 mAh. Many of Energizer’s new devices are in the Energy and Hardcase lines of feature phones aimed at the low-end market.
- The highest-end Energizer Ultimate U620S Pop has a 6.2-inch display and no display cutout for front-facing cameras and sensors. Instead, the selfie camera is in a motorized pop-up at the top of the smartphone. Prices for the Energizer line of phones haven’t been released. Avenir Telecom has the exclusive license to make Energizer-branded phones.
The latest line of Energizer-branded handsets is remarkable for including several Android-powered smartphones that likely will compete with Chinese manufacturers that have specialized in producing lower-cost phones whose sales are surging. The smartphone market has reached saturation levels in developed markets, while consumers in many emerging markets that have spotty cellular service are more likely to buy affordable phones with fewer features. Avenir has been a licensee of Energizer Holdings, which primarily manufactures batteries, since 2010 and is positioning the phones to win over consumers based on longer battery life.
The new Energizer phones will compete in a crowded market for Android devices. The Google-owned mobile operating system powers 74% of the world's smartphones, compared with 23% for Apple's iOS, according to StatCounter. Smartphone shipments fell an estimated 4.1% to 1.4 billion in 2018, with manufacturers seeing five straight quarters of declines, researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) announced.
Apple and Samsung, the two biggest makers of smartphones, bore the brunt of the declines as Chinese manufacturers thrived. Huawei's smartphone shipments jumped 33.6% to 206 million in Q4 2018, giving the Chinese company a 14.7% market share and making it the third-biggest smartphone producer in the world behind Samsung and Apple. Oppo’s smartphone sales grew 6.8% 29.2 million in the final quarter of last year, while Xiaomi’s edged upward by 1.4% to 28.6 million, IDC estimated.