The 4.3in ZTE-branded Skate smartphone sporting a 1GHz processor will go on sale by mid-September for around £229, according to the company ZTE has just penned a retail agreement with, that will see ZTE-own branded, unlocked, SIM-free handsets going for sale throughout online and retail channels in the UK.
The Chinese mobile phone manufacturer has decided to throw off the shackles of the white-label business and will make a bid to become one of the world’s top three mobile phone brands.
For most people, ZTE is not a recognizable mobile phone brand but it’s looking to change that by offering own-branded mobile phones and tablets to customers in the UK. Up to this point, ZTE's most famous phone was the Orange-branded San Francisco, known in other parts of the world as the ZTE Blade, which offered a compelling combination of low price (around £99) and excellent smartphone features.
“The success of the ZTE Blade, and the overwhelmingly positive reception at this year’s Mobile World Congress of the forthcoming Skate device, demonstrate that ZTE is set to become a key player in the smartphone sector,” said Wu Sa, director of mobile device operations, ZTE UK.
ZTE has signed a deal with Brightpoint who will help ZTE to get their devices into retail channels across the UK. Speaking to us last night at the announcement, a spokesman from Brightpoint said they expected to see the first ZTE-branded phones in UK retail stores as soon as mid-September. And that first phone is set to be the ZTE Skate, a smartphone with a 4.3in screen which will also go on sale branded as the Orange Monte Carlo.
We got a very brief look at the phone last night and while it has been speculated that the phone would be powered by an 800MHz processor, a spokesman from ZTE told us it will actually ship with a 1GHz processor and the phone certainly felt very responsive in the brief time we to use it.
ZTE hopes to ship 80 million handsets this year, up from 60 million in 2010. Among the devices also in line to be launched in 2011 with the ZTE branding, is a Windows Phone device which will be running the Mango update.
The Brightpoint spokesman pointed out that HTC, who Brightpoint also works with, had begun life in a similar fashion to ZTE and he believed the Chinese company would become the third biggest mobile phone manufacturer in the world by 2015.
Whether or not ZTE becomes as popular as the company hopes, remains to be seen but with the ZTE-branded Skate set to go on sale for £229, it is certainly offering customers currently unrivalled value for money.