Turkish communications and technology company Turkcell is creating the first local smartphone, codenamed “Gebze” after the city where Turkcell Technology is based. The phone will be developed by Turkish designers and engineers, and will be targeted for export, moving from regional countries to further international reaches. The phone will likely reach end-users in 2013.
“We are both honored and happy to announce this development, which is a milestone for our sector, as well as for Turkcell,” said the company’s CEO Sureyya Ciliv. “With our Gebze smartphone, we aim to lead and encourage other sector players to manufacture in Turkey, thereby positively contributing to the current account deficit.”
The domestic smartphone will be based on the company’s successful T series smartphones, which have experienced sales of over 750,000 units so far.
“Our T series smartphones, which we launched in an attempt to provide equal opportunities to information access, have been a great success,” said Ciliv. “We also launched our first ‘Turkcell Tablet’ a short while ago.”
This newest device from Turkcell will be equipped with the same features in its T series, including Turkcell’s unique interface, hardware tailored to the Turkish customer base, and a rich suite of apps. The Gebze is Turkcell’s latest move to leverage R&D, and Ciliv believes the project will be a success thanks to support the company has received from Qualcomm and Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Marina Affairs and Communications.
“We thank our Minister Mr. Binali Yildirim and global giant Qualcomm for their support and cooperation on this exciting journey,” said Civil.
Yildirim discussed the impetus for the creation of the Gebze, saying “We completed our studies on regulating R&D activities with regards to the Information and Communications sector in 2012. During these studies, we aimed to produce a local product and create a brand. With this purpose in mind, we support software and hardware projects in the sector for free. Indeed, our studies in R&D and local contribution to production have started to bear fruit.”
And leading the studies and contributions that are bearing fruit, says Yildirim, is Turkcell.
“Today, we have come one step closer to our target,” said Yildirim, in a press conference at the Mobile World Congress 2013. “I congratulate Turkcell for this and thank everybody who put their effort and contribution into the development phase of this project.”
What’s more, the Gebze has brought together two companies that could make significant developments in the industry now that they are paired.
Qualcomm senior VP and president of Europe region Enrico Salvatori confirmed that the partnership will impact not only Turkey, but regional countries as well.
“As part of this cooperation, Turkcell will be able to utilize advanced features on the Qualcomm chipset and develop applications unique to Turkish users,” said Salvatori. “When considering Turkcell’s technology and innovation focus, we clearly see that these qualities are the major factors of its brand success.”
Edited by Brooke Neuman