2011 was a breakout year for ZTE in many markets including the UK, when the Chinese company shipped their own branded phones, but this is only the beginning according to one of its executives.
For a long time ZTE were best known for making white label mobile phones which were re-branded by other companies, most famously in the UK in the shape of the Orange San Francisco – also known as the ZTE Blade.
While the company is still making phones for other retailers, through a partnership with Brightpoint, the company is now selling ZTE-branded phones directly to UK customers.
In an interview with Reuters, Lv Qianhao, head of handset strategy with ZTE, said that the company was planning on doubling it smartphone shipments in 2012 compared to the last 12 months. Lv said the company had far exceeded the 12 million target it set itself for last year.
Lv outlined two areas the company will be targeting this year: “The United States and China will be key engines driving our smartphone sales.”
ZTE is now the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world but trails the likes of Samsung, Apple and Nokia by some distance, however while ZTE is gaining ground, the likes of Nokia are falling at a similar rate.
Of course we here at TrustedReviews have seen this trend coming for some time, predicting back in July that ZTE would have many of its competitors running scared.
While the vast majority of ZTE handsets are powered by Google’s Android OS, it has confirmed it will launch Windows Phone handsets in China by the third quarter of 2012, having already done so in the US in last 12 months.
As for the UK, ZTE is holding an event right here in London on Wednesday evening to launch its “latest, chic handset” so make sure you check back to find out all the details.