You may have read about several HTC executives leaving the company over the last few months, well, the reason at least two of them have done so has been revealed – to start their own mobile manufacturing firm. The executives in question have been named as Michael Coombes, who was head of sales at HTC UK, and James Atkins, former head of marketing in the UK, and the company is named Kazam.
Little is known about the firms plans, except we’re being promised devices with, “Stunning design, robust hardware, and intuitive technology,” and that Kazam will concentrate on releasing phones in Europe. It’ll be Coombes who’ll take on the role of CEO, while Atkins will be chief marketing officer. The pair reportedly left HTC in early March, just before the launch of the HTC One, but neither has updated their public LinkedIn profiles to reflect the switch to Kazam.
So far, Kazam’s Internet presence is simple, with a single page offering people the chance to sign-up for future updates, but according to CNet, it expects to have phones on sale later this year. Seeing as we’re almost halfway through 2013 already, that sounds very ambitious. There’s also no information on which operating system the company will install on its phones, but Android is probably a safe bet, although we’d love to see something different.
Apparently, Kazam hopes to make itself standout by continuing to support its phones after they’ve been sold, which we take to mean it’ll be offering regular software updates. Whether it’ll be doing this by adding to a custom user interface, or by installing stock Android isn’t clear, but should Google’s OS be chosen, we’ll be hoping for the latter.
Atkins is quoted as saying, “There’s a real opportunity for a new mobile brand to disrupt the status quo,” and although it’s easy to list the reasons why a startup like Kazam may struggle – enormous competition, lack of budget and recognition – the interest shown in Jolla does say otherwise. Jolla launched its phone last month, has seen interest from around the globe, and has attracted considerable press and public attention. Geeksphone, another European phone manufacturer, sold out of its initial run of Firefox OS devices in a very short time, and demand hasn’t disappeared.
New entrants into the mobile industry are always going to have a tough time, but as Kazam’s founders are experienced players, we’d imagine they already known this; so it’s going to be very interesting to see what they have planned.