ZTE details smartphone strategy

Chinese vendor ZTE is betting on the smartphone and tablet markets as the new growth engines for the company, a senior executive says.
The vendor announced earlier this week that it will boost its terminal business by increasing total shipments to 120 million units this year, up 33% from 900 million a year earlier.
Of the total, 12 million are smartphones and tablets, ZTE executive vice president He Shiyou told Telecoms Europe.net.
He said ZTE will launch 30 new models of smartphones and tablets this year, focusing on high-end segments and strategic markets like US, Europe, China and Brazil, as the company is evolving from product-driven to brand-driven.
ZTE's revenues from terminal products, including 3G, GSM and CDMA handsets, jumped 51.4% year-on-year in Q1. The company shipped 22 million terminals, up 46.6% from the same period last year.
He said the company aims to become one of the top five global makers of Android smartphones and to get into the top three of tablet producers.
As part of the company’s strategy, ZTE has recently launched 11 new models of smartphones and tablets, such as ZTE Skate, ZTE Blade and ZTE LightTab, which support W-CDMA, EVDO, TD-SCDMA and LTE technologies.
He said currently there are 7000 employees working at the terminal business unit and the company will set up “a large-sized cloud computing team and smart terminal R&D team” to support mobile internet development.
Rival Huawei is also pushing aggressively into the smartphone market, with plans to boost sales to between 12 million and 15 million units this year - nearly five times the 3.3 million shipped in 2010, and equivalent to between 20% and 25% of the firm’s total device shipments forecasts of 60 million units for 2011.
A spokeswoman told Telecoms Europe.net the firm plans to roll out at least ten new models of smartphones and launch several new tablet models including flagship products this year.
“In the global Android cell phone sector, we are already in the top five and we’re aiming to become the third-largest cell phone maker in the next three years,” she added.