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Shareholder Tay Kim Kwee is keen to try out the VIM D52 with its large touch-screen numeric keypad. Photo by Sim Kih

Mr Tay Kim Kwee (left), 58, is beaming because he has just collected two Z-Obee phones, which were specially shipped over from Hong Kong.

Mr Tay, who runs his own general hardware trading business, is a longtime shareholder of Z-Obee.

He had paid S$180 for each phone at a 35% discount for shareholders who took up the offer that was sent with the company’s annual report recently.

The VIM m52 model, which Mr Tay purchased, is lightweight and easy to navigate. Interestingly it also has a spare battery for backup, a sensitive touch screen and dual SIM card slots.

Aside from the phone, Z-Obee recently gave Mr Tay another reason to beam. Read why in the article below.



Z-OBEE'S STOCK price has surged 35% to 11.5 cents since it announced a plan on the evening of Aug 20 to dual list its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as well as SGX.

Investors got excited because sector PE for technology hardware and equipment stocks listed on the SGX is only 8.5, compared to 13.4 for Hong Kong.

Most of Z-Obee’s revenues come from the trading of mobile phones and related accessories for third-party brands as well as handset assembly services.

However, its ability to provide the full works for the entire handset design cycle prompted it to launch Singapore’s first proprietary mobile handset brand, the ‘VIM’, in Dec last year.

Last Friday, Z-Obee announced a tie-up with China’s largest electronics retail chains, GOME, for the retail of the ‘VIM’ mobile handset.

As at the end of 2008, GOME was operating 859 electronics malls in 205 large and medium sized Chinese cities.  More than half are in first-tier cities with stronger consumer spending power such as Guangzhou.

Under the tie-up with GOME, 8 busy malls in Guangzhou will retail 5 models of VIM handsets at recommended retail prices ranging from RMB 888 to RMB 1,280.

The market welcomed
Z-Obee’s corporate developments.  Its stock price has held steady since Fri’s surge, and closed at 11.5 cents yesterday.

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The VIM m52 is hugely popular with undergrads in Chinese varsities, says Z-Obee independent director David Lim.

While the company is targeting China’s retail crowd, it also made the VIM phone available to shareholders in Singapore at a discount.

At less than S$200 each and without any contractual obligation with a mobile service provider, the VIM phones proved quite popular with local shareholders – more than one enquired about repeat orders.

Z-Obee’s first quarterly revenues for the financial year ending 30 Mar 2010 showed quarter-on-quarter improvement of 22.6% in sales to US$16.8 million, while operating profits more than doubled to US$760,418.

1Q10 gross profit margins were 9.2%.

Compared to 1Q09 however, revenues were down 54.8%.

Z-Obee’s customers are mostly licensed mobile handset manufacturers and mobile handset distributors.

Customers rely on its services for industrial, mechanical, software and hardware design, as well as hardware procurement, prototype testing, pilot production and production support.


Related story: Z-OBEE: 7 US cts net cash vs 8 S'pore cts stock price

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