One of the early cellphone giants, it almost seemed as if Alcatel missed the smartphone revolution.
A standout back when feature phones were the only handsets around, Alcatel has quietly been working its way into the smartphone space though.
"Twenty one years ago... we were quite popular, but most people, most youngsters obviously don't know the brand - their parents might know the brand. So it was time for a rebirth," Ernst Wittman, country manager for Alcatel OneTouch Southern Africa, told iafrica.com.
Instead of focusing on R10 000 superphones, the company has opted to develop budget handsets for the most part. The OneTouch Alpha in particular has had a great critical reception in the country. So in other words, it's clear that Alcatel is targeting the youth and first-time smartphone market.
"The majority of the people might aspire to say, an S5 or S4 - but if you can't afford the device, there's no reason why you can't have that same experience [with a cheaper handset - ed]" Wittman explains.
Of course, competition can be brutal in this sector, so what is Alcatel hoping to achieve with its renewed push? Is it aiming for Samsung or is HTC or LG a more realistic target?
"Aspiring to compete against a certain brand is not healthy. Our approach is to define our own space in the market... there is a space for us in the market," Wittman answers.
So then, has Alcatel found its space in the South African market?
Wittman doesn't divulge sales numbers for its devices, but says that the firm is happy with sales and growth, pointing to its growing marketshare.
"Last year, we finished off the year with three percent marketshare in South Africa [across smartphones, tablets and feature phones in general - ed]. And as of the end of September we're sitting on 14 percent marketshare," Wittman said.
Alcatel's representatives were hesitant to confirm whether this was largely due to the Vodacom Smart Kicka, with over 250 000 units sold (Alcatel makes the Smart Kicka). But this does appear to be the case, nonetheless.
However, Wittman was able to shed light on the performance of its Pop 7 tablet, saying it was the best-selling 7-inch tablet in the country for July and August.
Plans for Firefox OS and beyond?
Alcatel is also a partner for Mozilla's Firefox OS, with the web giant set to bring the platform to Africa and South Africa. When can we expect Firefox phones from Alcatel then?
"We are looking at bringing Firefox devices to South Africa in 2015," Wittman said, with the first devices launching in Q1 2015.
The company has four Firefox OS devices in total, but the first wave will see two phones launched in SA, in the form of the Fire C and Fire E.
Wittman said the Fire C will have a "sub-R1000" price tag and the Fire E will have a "sub-R2000" price-point.
The Fire C possesses a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor, 512MBs of RAM and a 3.5-inch 320x480 display.
The Fire E has a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor, 512MBs of RAM and a 4.5-inch 960x540 screen, among other specs.
As 2015 marches on, Alcatel will launch its second wave of devices, in the form of an LTE-capable handset and a Firefox tablet.
The smartphone industry is pretty crowded, but is there space for Firefox OS though?
Wittman says consumers migrating from feature phones to smartphones represent a big opportunity for Firefox OS.
"Those consumers aren't necessarily clued up on iOS, Android... BlackBerry maybe," Wittman explained, adding that the desktop userbase of Firefox is also worth tapping into.
The company has dabbled in Windows Phone too, but don't expect anything on this front anytime soon.
"I'd rather not answer that one now," Wittman said.