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.
Microsoft plans to roll out its Windows Phone “Tango” update for its mobile platform in China some time this year. While the new version of Microsoft’s OS will allow Windows Phones to hit lower price points, Chinese manufacturers are pessimistic about the plan and believe the operating system may not achieve enough success, according to DigiTimes. Android-based smartphones are believed to continue to dominate the Chinese market due to the aggressive marketing of low-end devices from local vendors such as ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad and Xiaomi Technology, and the ease of developing applications through the open-source operating system. Despite unfavorable market conditions, Nokia will lead the charge into China with devices set to launch in the first half of 2012. The publication’s sources also believe Huawei will release several Windows Phones din the second quarter, with Microsoft also looking to partner with Lenovo and ZTE to launch devices in the Chinese market. More →
Intel on Monday detailed a number new products and partnerships during the company’s Mobile World Congress press event. “We are very pleased to add new, important customers and capabilities to our phone offerings today. We remain focused on delivering exciting new features and outstanding performance to smartphone customers around the world.” said Intel CEO Paul Otellini. UK service provider Orange will launch an Atom-powered smartphone based on the Z2460 reference design. The device will feature a sleek body that will enable “rich entertainment experiences [to] Orange services, including Orange TV, Daily Motion, Deezer, Orange Wednesdays and Orange Gestures.” The handset is scheduled for a late summer launch and will be available in the United Kingdom and France. Read on for more. More →
ZTE doesn’t have a strong presence here in the U.S., but the vendor revealed several smartphones at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show that will be big sellers in a number of markets. The Era, Orbit and PF112 are among the new ZTE phones that will launch this year, and we spent some time with each of them on Monday. The Era and the PF112 both run Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, while the Orbit is a Windows Phone. The Era is a quad-core Tegra 3-powered beast with a 4.3-inch screen and high-end specs that rival any device launched here at the show. The PF112 sports an even larger 4.5-inch screen, tri-band HSPA+ and an 8-megapixel shooter. The Orbit is the company’s low-end Windows Phone model, with a 4-inch display, a 1GHz processor and 4GB of on-board storage. In use, the Windows Phone-powered Orbit was definitely impressive for an entry-level smartphone, exhibiting the smooth user experience we’ve come to expect from handsets powered by Microsoft’s mobile platform. The Android phones weren’t operational, so we can’t comment on their performance. We can definitely still admire their sleek designs though, so check out our hands-on gallery for photos of each of these new ZTE phones.