Research firm IDC released the latest numbers from its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker this week and found that a total of 482.5 million mobile phones were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase from 473.4 million in 2011. Smartphones accounted for nearly half, or 45.5%, of all mobile phone shipments, the highest percentage ever. Samsung (005930) and Apple (AAPL) remained the two top vendors with market shares of 29% and 21.8% respectively. The report did include some surprises, however. More →
ZTE (0763) on Tuesday became the latest company to showcase a full HD “phablet” at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Android-powered Grand S smartphone comes with a 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.7GHz and a 13-megapixel rear camera. The handset is also remarkably thin, measuring in at a mere 6.9 millimeters, and also includes 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 4G LTE and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Grand S is slated to arrive in China during the first quarter of 2013, but no pricing information was announced and it is unclear if the device will make its way to the U.S. market. ZTE’s press release follows below. More →
InterDigital (IDCC) on Thursday filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Samsung (005930), Nokia (NOK), Huawei (002502), and ZTE (000063) for selling devices that allegedly infringe upon seven of its 3G and 4G wireless patents. The company has asked the ITC to block sales of the infringing products, which incorporate WCDMA, CDMA2000, LTE and Wi-Fi technologies. The ITC has 30 days to decide whether it will launch an investigation into the claims. InterDigital also filed a similar lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, seeking a permanent injunction and damages based on willful infringement. More →
The Nubia Z5 isn’t the only feature-packed smartphone ZTE plans to release. The company is preparing to show off its Grand S, a 6.9-millimeter thick smartphone with a 5-inch full-HD display and a 13-megapixel camera rear camera. ZTE claims the Grand S will be the world’s thinnest 5-inch smartphone. According to UnwiredView the ZTE Grand S is also rumored to have a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (APQ8064) processor, 2GB of RAM and a 2,500 mAh battery – slightly larger than the Nubia Z5’s 2,300 mAh battery. ZTE plans to reveal the Grand S’s full specs and price at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. One thing is for sure, the company is embracing large-screened smartphones like no other. Aside from the Nubia Z5 and Grand S, the company also recently teased a monstrous 5.9-inch Windows Phone 8-powered ‘phablet.”
2013 is shaping up to be the year of the “phablet” with virtually ever major handset maker preparing to challenge Samsung’s (005930) impressive Galaxy Note lineup. While there’s no clear definition on how large a phablet is, most tend to have screens that hover in the 5-inch range, though Huawei’s upcoming 6.1-inch smartphone will only push that boundary. ZTE’s newly announced Nubia Z5 packs a 5-inch display with full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, an aluminum case, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel rear, a 2-megapixel front camera, Dolby sound and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It even edges out HTC’s (2498) slim DROID DNA in terms of size with slightly thinner dimensions and a larger battery: 2,300 mAh versus the DNA’s 2,020 mAh. The only deal-breaker is the Nubia Z5 likely won’t be available in the U.S., but importers drooling over its specs can pick one up in China for about $554.
ZTE may be looking to launch the first Windows Phone “phablet” to compete against the numerous hybrid devices available on the Android platform. Lu Qian Hao, the head of market strategy for ZTE, teased an image of one of the company’s upcoming Windows Phone smartphones on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo. In addition to the image, the executive revealed that the flagship device will carry a 5.9-inch display with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and he said it will come equipped with DTS audio technology. There are a few concerns with these claims, however. The smartphone pictured above is still sporting the Windows Phone 7 logo and to make matters worse, Microsoft (MSFT) hasn’t announced that Windows Phone 8 will support full HD resolution.
According to a draft report that will be released on Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee has decided that the rapid expansion by Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE in the U.S. market is a potential threat to national security. The report based on an 11-month investigation claims Huawei and ZTE could possibly be working with the Chinese government for non-commercial reasons.The report comes as Huawei is reportedly mulling over an IPO. Both Huawei and ZTE have rebutted the report and have called it baseless. More →
Add ZTE (0763) to the list of manufacturers trying to decrease their dependence on Android by diversifying their mobile portfolios. The company’s executive vice president He Shiyou told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that ZTE will launch smartphones with Mozilla’s Firefox OS in the first quarter of 2013, while also confirming that ZTE is planning new Windows Phone 8 smartphones to go on sale later this year. Mozilla revealed plans for its own HTML5-based mobile platform earlier this year and said that initial hardware partners will include ZTE, TCL and Qualcomm (QCOM). More →
Samsung (005930) may not have figured out how to do tablets effectively yet, but it sure has smartphones nailed down. The latest numbers from IDC show that Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2012, nearly double the 26 million iPhones shipped by Apple (AAPL) over the same period. Taken all together, IDC found that Samsung and Apple accounted for nearly half of all smartphones shipped on the quarter as rivals Nokia (NOK), HTC (2498) and ZTE (000063) all registered smartphone market shares of under 7%. The report essentially backs up Juniper’s findings from earlier this week that Samsung smartphone shipments roughly doubled Apple iPhone sales in the second quarter. More →
Chinese handset maker ZTE said it could ship 100 million smartphones a year by 2015, Reuters reported on Monday. The company sold 15 million phones in 2011 and is looking to sell upwards of 50 million this year. “As handsets contribute more to overall revenue, it will affect our profit margins,” executive director He Shiyou said. “In 2012, our aim is to increase handset margins.” Following the success of Samsung’s Galaxy Note, ZTE will release two smartphone-tablet hybrids — affectionately referred to as “phablets” — in 2012. “We want to come up with the next generation of a Galaxy Note-type product — a combo product of handsets and tablets,” Lv Qianhao, ZTE’s head of handset strategy, said. ZTE has previously focuses on the low-end market, though recently it has made a push to compete on the same level as Samsung and Apple. Unlike many of its competitors, however, ZTE may face problems and set backs due to its lack of brand awareness. “People who buy Apple and Samsung have greater brand awareness so they might not take chances with a little-known brand, especially one from China,” said Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst for research firm IDC. “No one really knows ZTE outside China.” More →
Samsung’s market share in the Chinese market is three times larger than Apple’s and still growing, Bloomberg reported on Sunday. The Cupertino-based company recently began to sell its flagship smartphone on the nation’s third largest carrier, China Telecom, in addition China Unicom, which up until recently was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in China. The new partnership, however, may be too little, too late. “I don’t expect Apple to replace Samsung any time soon,” Gartner analyst Sandy Shen said. “China Telecom is the nation’s smallest carrier, so the extent to which they can help Apple is quite limited.” Read on for more. More →
Sprint on Wednesday announced the “family-friendly” Android-powered ZTE Fury. This entry-level handset features a 3.5-inch capacitive display with a 1GHz single-core processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Fury is equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera, a microSD slot, 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and the usual suite of preloaded Sprint apps. “We realize that there are a lot of choices in the market when it comes to choosing the right cell phone that fits the needs of both a working parent and their family,” said David Owens, Sprint’s vice president-Product Development. “Providing affordable, Android-powered devices, like ZTE Fury, in our lineup helps give families the tools and information to better manage their wireless usage while still providing the style and functionality they need to keep up with their busy lives.” The ZTE Fury will be available on March 11th for $19.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Read on for Sprint’s press release. More →
The unannounced DROID Fighter and LG Lucid 4G, codenamed Cayman, will be coming to Verizon’s 4G LTE network within the coming weeks, according to a a leaked internal document obtained by Droid-Life. According to the photo, the Lucid 4G will launch on March 29th and the DROID Fighter will arrive on April 12th. Information surrounding both devices is rather limited, although it is believed the LG Lucid 4G will be a mid-level handset, not to compete with the flagship LG Spectrum. The HTC Fireball, which is rumored to launch as the DROID Incredible 4G, also makes an appearance on the list, as does a device called the Samsung “Plato” and ZTE V66, although no release dates are listed for those.