G-Tide, the makers of the locally popular G-Tide mobile phone launched their regional office in Harare on Wednesday at a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza. The mobile phone appeared on the market about a year ago and has arguably taken up a significant slice of the mobile phone market in Zimbabwe.
G-Tide has other offices in in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal and the DRC. Strangely, Zimbabwe is not mentioned on the G-Tide website. We’re not implying anything here, just surprised they forgot to mention. According to G-Tide Zimbabwe’s media officer, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, the office has been strategically located in Zimbabwe to serve as the bulk procurement, warranty provider and repairs center for G-Tide products in Africa. An email to the G-Tide headquarters in China to get more information on this and the mobile phone’s general penetration and acceptance in other regions went unanswered.
Famous for their affordability and wide array of features, G-Tide mobile phones boast the latest smartphone features like 3G, GPRS, Wi-fi, browser, media player, camera, radio, and on some models like the G-Tide G96 pictured here, even TV and believe it or not, you can use it as a universal remote control for your other gadgets.
While tech savvy users have shunned them citing the Chinese origins and preferring instead the 10-times-more-expensive Nokias, Blackberries and iPhones, ordinary users have embraced this smart affordable phone. Still the “Chinese phone” tag’s damage cannot be denied and according to Gwatidzo, lack of an official G-Tide office in Zimbabwe left many users unable to access repair and warranty services, and this added to the negative perception. But this, Gwatidzo says will all belong to where it is, in the past.
Gwatidzo also added that G-Tide is entering the netbook and desktop hardware business; “Come January 2010, we’re introducing a number of new G-Tide product lines on the market and consumers should expect the same affordability we’re known for”. It’ll be interesting to see how low they can price them and I’ll probably consider getting a netbook if it goes low enough.
Update: We have since verified that G-Tide Zimbabwe is a genuine G-Tide distributor in Zimbabwe.