Alcatel eyes low-cost smartphone segment in Brazil

The company is focusing on cheaper models as local consumers become more cautious

Alcatel is looking to broaden its high street presence in Brazil and focus on consumers planning to spend less on smartphones.

The Chinese manufacturer wants to take advantage of the increase in high street smartphone sales in Brazil - traditionally, local mobile operators offered more attractive device deals but that has been changing as the market becomes more fragmented.

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The company's general manager for Brazil, Fernando Pezzotti, was quoted by local newspaper Valor as saying that Alcatel has increased the number of retail locations selling its phones from 3,000 to 10,000 over the last year.

According to Pezzotti, the firm wants to fill a gap left by manufacturers such as Samsung, who decided to focus on higher-end devices, leaving consumers on tighter budgets without too many options.

To that end, Alcatel will increase the number of of low-cost models available in Brazil from five to nine by the end of 2016. The devices will cost between R$499 and R$ 899 ($140-$252).

The firm will also launch other higher-spec models, despite recognizing that competition will be fierce in that space.

Other companies such as Brazilian manufacturer Positivo are also looking to take advantage of the current consumer cautiousness in the country and launched cheaper smartphones this year.