ZTE turns to LTE devices to stem profit fall

Chinese vendor ZTE is banking on LTE devices to address plummeting profits, with plans to launch its first single-chip smartphone and a compatible tablet in the next few weeks.
The firm’s first compatible single-chip smartphone is scheduled to hit China Mobile’s stores in Hong Kong on August 31, with a tablet due in September. ZTE has previously detailed plans to double its smartphone sales in 2012 by focusing on key markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific – specifically China.
Luo Zhongsheng, vice president of the vendor’s handset division and president for Asia-Pacific and CIS, says the firm is looking to tap growing demand for 4G devices with a range of LTE product launches in the coming months. “The development of LTE has been growing at a pace faster than we expected. At present, over 60% of ZTE’s terminal devices sold in [the] US are LTE products, and similar trends are seen in markets like Japan and Australia.”
The firm expects around 20% of its total device sales in 2013 will be LTE products, Luo told TelecomsEMEA.net. It is also gearing up to launch dual mode FDD/TDD LTE devices, with a data card due in 4Q12 and a handset in 1Q13. Luo adds that ZTE is also preparing a prototype voice over LTE device that will be available in sample quantities in the fourth quarter.
ZTE is relying on devices to stem a 524 million yuan (€65.6 million) year-on-year drop in first half profit, which the firm blames on forex losses and delays in a network tender by China Mobile.