The Chinese handset company TCL, which sells their phones under the Alcatel brand, has just announced what’s undoubtedly their 2013 flagship device. It has a 5 inch 1080p screen, quad core 1.2 GHz processor, 8 or 13 megapixel camera (depending on the market), 2,000 mAh battery, and it’s just 7.1 mm thin.
There’s just one problem. When I see this thing, I instantly get reminded of HTC’s Butterfly. The Butterfly and the Idol X don’t just share a common design language, they look like the exact same device. Alcatel also went one step further and copied Nokia’s color palette for their Windows Phone devices.
What else is there to know about this thing? It doesn’t have 4G LTE, so you can forget about it ever hitting America’s shores, and it’s supposedly going to ship in July. In case you can’t count, that’s about five months away.
Why do companies do this to themselves? First Huawei with the P2, and now Alcatel with the Idol X. LG isn’t any better. The Optimus G is only now starting to hit Europe. Funny when you think about it because the G Pro comes out next month and there are already rumors about the G2, but I digress.
Can Alcatel win people’s hearts in Western markets? No. They don’t have the marketing budget for that. Sad to say this, but if you can’t put up a billboard in every important city in Europe and the United States, then your product isn’t going to move. Ask Coca-Cola how much money they drop just to remind people to drink brown sugar water.