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.
ZTE announced a range of new smartphones at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but the star of the show was undoubtedly the company’s new flagship Android phone, the ZTE Era. The Era is a quad-core Tegra 3-powered Android 4.0 phone with a 4.3-inch 960 x 540-pixel qHD display, 8GB of internal storage, HSPA+ and a case that is just 7.8 millimeters thick, which is even thinner than the HTC One S announced on Sunday. ”The numbers speak for themselves. With 50 percent growth in handset shipments and 400 percent growth in smartphone shipments, we are confident that we are entering a new era in the mobile terminal market,” said He Shiyou, Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminals Division, in a statement. The ZTE Era captures the excitement we feel about the future and brings it to life in a fantastic new device.” Announced alongside the Era is the ZTE Orbit, a new entry-level Windows Phone with a 4-inch 800 x 480-pixel display, a single-core 1GHz processor, 4GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera that will launch in the second quarter. ZTE’s press releases follow below. More →
ZTE is looking to make a big splash at next week’s Mobile World Congress, bringing eight new smartphones powered by Android and Windows Phone to the event. The company had previously announced three Android smartphones, the Mimosa X, PF200 and N910. The Mimosa X comes equipped with a NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 4.3-inch qHD display, Ice Cream Sandwich, 4GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, a front facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The flagship PF200 will sport an unspecified 1.2GHz chipset along with a 4.3-inch qHD display, LTE connectivity, Android 4.0, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Meanwhile, the N910 comes with a 1.5GHz processor, Android 4.0, a 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel secondary camera. Specific details of the five remaining handsets are unknown, however ZTE says they will combine LTE and multicore processors to differentiate them, reports SlashGear. The company is looking to become one of the world’s top three handset manufacturers by 2015. More →
Global smartphone sales increased 47.3% to 149 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to market research firm Gartner. Total smartphone sales for the full year increased 58% to 472 million units and accounted for 31% of all mobile devices sold. The record sales were led by Apple’s iPhone, which sold 37 million units and helped the company capture a 23.8% market share in the fourth quarter. Apple was also the top smartphone vendor in 2011, with a 19% market share. “Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales.” Samsung continued its success with LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Research In Motion recording disappointing results. Both ZTE and Huawei dominated the low-end to mid-range market and became — along with Apple — the fastest-growing vendors in the fourth quarter of 2011. “These vendors expanded their market reach and kept on improving the user experience of their Android devices,” said Cozza. Read on for Gartner’s press release. More →
Sprint on Thursday announced the ZTE Optik Honeycomb tablet. The 7-inch device will be available February 5th for $99.99 with a new two-year agreement, as previously reported. ”ZTE Optik is ZTE’s first tablet in North America and makes the tablet experience available to a new segment of consumers,” said Lixin Cheng, CEO and president of ZTE USA. “Paired with Sprint’s cutting-edge network, ZTE Optik provides an exceptional user experience to consumers who demand affordability, flexibility and mobility in one package.” The Optik features a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with 16GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM. The device also contains a microSD slot, a 4,000 mAh battery, a front facing 2-megapixel camera and a rear 5-megapixel camera. The tablet will be available for $349.99 off contract and comes pre-loaded with Sprint Zone, Sprint TV, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint Navigation, Sprint Football Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup MobileSM. Read on for Sprint’s press release. More →