ZTE Eyes up Southeast Asia, and the World
The Chinese phone manufacture ZTE was recently listed as the 4th largest in the US according to shipment volumes for the second quarter of 2014. It still lags well behind Samsung and Apple who shipped 38% and 25% respectively, of the total phones sold in the US last quarter.
However it shows the growing strength of Chinese brands and ZTE intentions to grow its reputation both in Asia and further afield. To help improve brand perception they have launched 3 new phones in Singapore this week, all of which are running Android 4.4 KitKat and range from just US$79 for the KIS 3 to US$239 for the Blade VEC 4G. Coincidentally, the Blade is available from Chinavision for under $200
The companies tag line is ‘Impressively Affordable’ and it’s this focus on offering consumers the latest operating platforms and good quality phones for respectable prices that’s driving their market share. As ZTE operates with business to business partners who sell on their phones, the devices don’t always have the ZTE brand name on them which can hurt when trying to grow their recognition. However this setup has helped ZTE diversify from the Chinese market which only makes up 25% of its total sales whereas over 95% of Xiaomi sales last year were China based.
One thing that really helps ZTE produce its large range of phones, and something they believe will help it grow in popularity is the heavy R&D investment that was about CNY7 billion (US$1.1 billion) last year. It’s this sort of funding, and a drive to improve business-to-consumer arrangements that vice president of ZTE Mobile Devices for Asia-Pacific and CIS, Zhang Lei believes will help them “know what our consumers really like,” and put them in a position to deliver it.
Zhang Lei said “ZTE aims to be among the top three Smartphone vendors in the world within three years” so clearly their new releases in Singapore this week is just a small move towards that goal.