It can only be one of those “Only in China” things. On the final day of MWC 2015, while trawling through the smaller exhibition booths I did a double take; literally walking backwards to see if I really was seeing what was in front of me: a Pierre Cardin booth showcasing its smartphones, tablets and yes, even smartwatches.
Surprised? We are, too. The booth housed a wide selection smartphones both large and small as well as tablets. We were told that these devices are already available in China, but when I attempted to take some shots of these phones, I was told that I was not allowed to – no reason was provided either. My request was still denied despite reiterating that I was a member of the media, and not some Chinese OEM.
Instead, I was informed that I should take photos of the French (?) company’s new selection of smartwatches. These range from the sports-oriented, casual, the ubiquitous “Rolex Gold”, and of course one that resembles the Apple Watch – that is, until you turn on the watch’s display:
Needless to say, this booth really caught me off guard. While inside, so many questions popped in my head: Isn’t this a clothing company? Why are they even making electronic devices? As it turns out, Pierre Cardin has actually also been moonlighting as a smartphone maker for some years now. In fact, the company even made what is probably the world’s first (and only) “designer tablet” back in 2011, featuring a single-core Cortex-A8 processor. But, a quick check over on Alibaba yields plenty of Pierre Cardin smartphones – most likely an OEM licensing the brand name to gain some traction in the competitive market.
We came across plenty of products over the four days of MWC 2015, but Pierre Cardin’s booth really takes the prize for Surprise of the Show…not to mention Dodgiest Exhibition Booth.