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Astro Mobile launches new range of devices

Astro, Android Devices, Astro Phablet

Last night, Astro Mobile, the Zimbabwean mobile phone brand and tech distribution company unveiled the Slide series, its new range of mobile devices that is meant to lead Astro’s redefined focus for the market.

The event acted not only as an opportunity to unveil its new offering, but a platform for Astro to revel in its recent achievement as a continentally recognised enterprise.

According to Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, the founder and CEO of Astro, Astro wants to offer a great smartphone experience for a limited budget, something that takes into consideration Zimbabwean consumers’ improving tastes as well as the current economic situation where disposable incomes only allow for a limited investment into mobile devices.

5 Astro Slide devices were unveiled at the event, with prices ranging from $99 for the new Astro entry level Slide S4.5, up to $499 for the Astro Slide Note, a phablet and the series’ flagship device that comes with a smartwatch.

The devices are now available for pre-orders, and will be distributed countrywide by mid-December. The interesting bit from the launch, however, was the distribution model that Astro is now adopting.

Rather than retail its own devices, Astro will now focus on distribution agent partnerships with several retail entities such as Truworths as well as mobile network operators. This is a divorce from its current model where it sold the bulk of its devices in its own flagship stores.

Gwatidzo says Astro won’t be shutting down its old distribution network, but will instead focus on the retail partnerships as this arrangement helps mitigate the costs of distribution through a working arrangement with retailers that already have an understanding of specific market segments.

While Astro has managed to build a recognised name in mobile devices, there are constraints that come with rolling out an individual network even in a market as condensed as Zimbabwe. Its a huge consideration for other entry-level smartphone distributors like Tecno that are only entering the Zimbabwean market now.

It’s also been the same approach used by  Huawei, the Chinese mobile phone giant. Most of its distribution was centred on partnerships with mobile networks, with a limited Huawei branded shop presence.

In any case, all of this is just tactical thought. The real work will come in selling the devices to consumers that now understand what a good phone means for them and are willing to try the next option odwn the road. Astro Mobile, and every other smartphone distributor will need to score highly on the product quality side to do that. No amount of redesign and renewed focus will beat that.

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7 thoughts on “Astro Mobile launches new range of devices

  1. The phones operate just fine, the problem is with the slide S5. The screen for that phone is just too vulnerable and to have it fixed u charge us a lot of money as if there’s no warranty. This is the time I’m having mine fixed. Do something!!!

  2. why dont astro really tell us about the full specifications of this Slide Note, for example, the type of cpu, the camera specs. these companies tend to OVERPRICE their products when they use very cheap and crappy hardware for example MTK processors. in china this type of phone cost about $200 with the same specifications or even better for example Xiaomi(which is a big brand in china a nd some parts of the world). IM NEVER BUYING THIS PHONE, mazimbabweans tirikubatirana stereki.

  3. i bought an astro pro y2 and it got stolen, i tried to call all the astro numbers to have my phone tracked, but they were unreachable. their website is even useless, you cant send mail to them and the email address that’s there doesn’t reply at all. any one from astro you better try to call me now, cause i’m suing you, you are still taking money from my salary yet you do not even act towards your promises, you are a disgrace to us entrepreneurs.

  4. If only i had known what crap this phone is….. topped with cheats at Astro Zimbabwe. in only 2 month phone giving me serious problems. the email address is nonfunctional, try calling all the branches you will be shocked. You visit Head office, told the problem is that you are downloading many apps…my foot! My advise to all who havent fallen into the Astro scam, DO NOT BUY ANY ASTRO product.

  5. its true i also had my phone with a problem but when i took it back at astro branch in ndola i was told the phone is just ok

  6. i bought a phone from astro model s5 but itdoesnt accept sim had a problem of draining when charging but since last week when i got it back from astro jacaranda mall branch in ndola zambia, it has never accepted sim cards,so what next step astro is going to do to solve this problem?

  7. i have a astro phone silde note in zambia i finding it very difficult yo buy covers and screen protectors. where can i get a screen protector and actual screen and cover as my phone is really giving e problems

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