Rochester, Minn. – Cellphone maker NUU Mobile is expanding its distribution to brick-and-mortar stores for the first time with the launch of four unlocked Android phones in 165 Meijer stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
The phones are also Meijer’s first unlocked phones, which will appear in the majority of Meijer’s stores, an NUU spokesperson said.
NUU, with headquarters in Hong Kong, started up in 2012 as a maker of unlocked phones and entered the North American market last fall. Its online retailers include Target.com, Amazon, BestBuy.com, HSN.com, Ebay, and NUUmobile.com.
Meijer’s NUU phones operate on the T-Mobile and AT&T networks and are therefore compatible with service from Cricket Wireless, H20 Wireless, Lycamobile, Metro PCS, Net10 Wireless, Red Pocket Mobile, Simple Mobile and TracFone. Meijer sells SIM cards for those services, a NUU spokesperson said.
“As consumers look to save money on their wireless service each month and move away from lengthy contracts with high subsidies, unlocked Android smartphones from NUU Mobile offer a great value to meet this demand, without compromising on the quality and features one would expect, at a fraction of the price,” claimed Chris Rutherford, NUU Mobile’s consumer sales VP.
NUU is moving into brick-and-mortar retail because “many consumers still want to touch and feel devices prior to making a purchase,” Rutherford said. “Not only are the features and functionality important in the buying process, [but] the weight and feel of phones is also critical …”
The X1 and X3 feature Android 4.4 KitKat OS, 4G LTE speeds up to 150 Mbps, and operation in LTE bands 2, 4 and 17, which are used by T-Mobile, AT&T and their MVNOs. They also feature dual SIMs that operate in LTE and 2G modes.
The NU2S and NU3S feature Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, 4H HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbps, dual SIMs that support HSPA+ and 2G.
The devices also feature 32GB microSD card slots, removable lithium-polymer batteries, and HD displays. Consumers can personalize phones with protective cases and tempered-glass screen protectors that will be available for $19.99 each through Meijer stores and select online retailers.
NUU is also targeting the South American market.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 217 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. It was ranked No. 49 on TWICE’s Top 100 CE Retailer rankings with $131 million in tech sales last year.