Those of a certain age will remember the Alcatel name fondly, as it was once the name of a pioneering cell phone company back in the days of monochrome displays and when accessing the Internet on your phone was done via WAP connections. Halcyon days for sure, but since then the brand was picked up by a Chinese manufacturer and for the past few years has been pumping out all sorts of affordable devices running Android including smartphones, tablets and even a smartwatch. For all that time, Alcatel was known as Alcatel OneTouch, which was always a little confusing for folks. During MWC 2016, they're simplifying their name, reducing the brand to just "Alcatel" much like it was back in the 90s.
With this change however, the brand isn't looking to go backwards and appeal to an older generation, but rather better focus their target audience of "millennials". In a press release today the firm said that their rebranding will allow them to "simplify its name, simplify its message and streamline their devices". During the show, Alcatel is announcing a new smartphone, a follow-up to last year's IDOL 3, the IDOL 4 and this has been a good opportunity for Alcatel to tell the world who they're targeting. College students, young parents and anyone below the age of 30 appears to be where Alcatel is hoping to make the most of their money, and it's easy to see why. The firm offers smartphones and tablets that tick the vast majority of boxes without the associated price tag. Devices like the newly-announced IDOL 4S embody that, offering a Quad HD display and octa-core CPU complete with super-fast 4G support all for less than most entry-level models from the likes of Samsung, Sony and others.
Whether or not the new branding and new logo, also introduced during the show will help Alcatel take off in the mainstream markets remains to be seen, but it wouldn't surprise us if we started to see a little more of Alcatel on store shelves now that the brand is hopefully better-understood and streamlined. Fans of Alcatel's products can take a look at our other announcements from today's press event.