ZTE boosted handset sales 40% in 2008

Chinese vendor ZTE has defied the slump in the handset sector to boost its own shipments by 40% in 2008, according to a report in Taiwanese-based DigiTimes.


It sold 45 million units, giving it momentum that could help it realize its goal of becoming one of the top five handset manufacturers by 2011.


ZTE has gained some important handset deals with Vodafone, Hutchison, T-Mobile and other operators in Italy and Australia and is working to target the lower end segment with higher end features such as touchscreens and Windows Mobile.


Last month, the Chinese vendor said it planned to make a major smartphone push in the US market in 2009, including possibly partnering with Verizon Wireless on a dual-mode CDMA/LTE handset.


ZTE's counterpart Huawei has been racking up infrastructure contracts. The vendor has won a 3G deal with Cox and is reportedly a finalist to win a Wimax contract with Clearwire.


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