In a creative move to push virtual reality tech into the hands of mid-level phone users, Alcatel is shipping the OneTouch Idol 4S inside packaging that doubles as Google Cardboard-compliant VR goggles. It’s a nifty little bonus on top of a very well-specced mid-range device.
Alcatel has been trying hard to make a name for themselves in North America, but mainstream success has continued to elude them. Nevertheless, they are making strong forward motion against the current, rising from the thirteenth-largest cellphone brand in the region in 2014 to the fifth in 2016. This might be the year that Alcatel finally busts through the barrier and into public awareness.
The company has succeeded in producing relatively high specs in low and mid-range unlocked devices. As is becoming increasingly evident, 2016 will be the year VR tech went commercial. Alcatel is hitching their wagon to that star with the OneTouch Idol 4S, a 5.5-inch headset that boasts a quad HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM and 16 gigs of storage (it has a microSD slot if you need more). 16MP camera, 8MP selfie snapper, and flash LEDs on both sides. All this for $400, and Alcatel is attaching a perk sure to lure in plenty of novelty fans and VR enthusiasts: the plastic packaging that it comes in cleverly transforms into a Cardboard-ready headset.
No word as to whether the Idol 4S’s little sister, the Idol 4, will ship with the VR headset packaging. This $250 device is effectively a stripped down version of the 4S built to appeal to a more budget-conscious demographic. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty impressive with its 5.2-inch LCD screen, Snapdragon 617 processor, and 2GB of RAM. Both the Idol 4 and the Idol 4S are slated to ship this May.
What are your thoughts regarding this interesting use of packaging? Innovative marketing work, or a gimmick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!