Mobile phone users in South Africa will know that a couple of years ago the Alcatel brand relaunched in South Africa as Alcatel One Touch with a host of new mobile phones. Four years down line, it is time to shift things again – to create a better brand with new products.

Dropping the ‘One Touch’ wording, the company is going back to just being ‘Alcatel’, but this time around it has a new look, complete with a different logo and font.


“Through time we realised that (the Alcatel One Touch name) was too long, it’s too much to say. It was time to refresh the brand itself, and if you look at the actual font it is a generation now of texting communication – so we have incorporated a speech bubble-look into the name itself,” explained South African Managing Director Ernst Wittman.

The brand is also taking a rather different approach as its first launch phone, which will also double-up as the local flagship – the Alcatel Go Play.

It’s a mid-range phone, sitting between the lower tier and the global flagship Idol 4. The reason for that is rather simple – in South Africa, Alcatel can’t compete with the likes of Samsung, Sony and Apple.


“We have decided not to use the Idol 4 as the launch device, because at the end of the day you can’t put a high-end smartphone next to a high-end smartphone – they all look the same. The reality is, even though we are starting a branding campaign and there is investment in it, the competition pot we have is Samsung so we are just going to get diluted into that.”

Wittman explained that the company has to progressively move from lower-end phones to higher-tiered ones, and that is where the Go Play will come in for South Africa. The Idol 4 will, however, still be made available locally.

“We thought using this device to launch the brand in SA again, is what we are going to do. I know the Idol 4 is a niche and it has the VR, but the reality for where we are going with the business, the Go Play is going to stand out. That’s not to say that the Idol 4 won’t come, it just won’t be used to launch Alcatel from a brand perspective.”

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The Go Play is an IP67 device, meaning it can be used underwater up to 1 meter for half an hour, comes with a pair of IP67 headphones, it will retail for around R3 300 and will be available in March. It has a 5-inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM through Snapdragon 410 and a 2500mAh battery.

In terms of relaunching the brand in South Africa, Alcatel HQ wants the entire process to be completed this year.

“We have the right tools to do that now, and we have had a complete management change. So fresh blood has come in and it is all part of the rejuvenation of a brand which has been around for 20 years.”


Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.