Saturday, 24 June 2017

ZTE diversifies OS strategy, targets high-end smartphone market

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom, in Barcelona
Monday 14 February 11

Chinese vendor launches new Android device, but also looks to work with Windows Phone, MeeGo; plans cloud services.

ZTE aims to establish itself in the mid-to-high-end smartphone segment in the coming year and is looking to further lower the price of such devices to make them accessible to a greater proportion of the market. The Chinese vendor presented its 2011 devices strategy at Mobile World Congress on Monday, including ambitious shipment targets, the use of multiple operating systems…

ZTE aims to establish itself in the mid-to-high-end smartphone segment in the coming year and is looking to further lower the price of such devices to make them accessible to a greater proportion of the market.

The Chinese vendor presented its 2011 devices strategy at Mobile World Congress on Monday, including ambitious shipment targets, the use of multiple operating systems, and its entry into the cloud services space. It also launched the latest addition to its handset portfolio, the Skate smartphone, based on Android 2.3.

“ZTE's products and services are evolving,” He Shiyou, EVP at ZTE, said at a press conference. The company is moving up from the low end of the market into mid-range devices this year, providing customers with “more features for less,” he added.

“In 2010 ZTE shipped in excess of 90 million devices globally,” up 515 on the previous year, He said. Mobile handsets accounted for more than 63 million of the total. “We're anticipating a sound and healthy 30% annual [revenue] growth in 2011, He predicted. The firm expects to ship more than 10 million smartphones worldwide up from 2 million last year. “We have confidence in achieving this number,” He said.

The Skate will be key to the company reaching its goals. The skateboard-inspired Android handset features a 4.3-inch screen, 800-MHz processor, Adreno 200 graphics processing unit (GPU), and 5-megapixel camera. It will be available in a number of global markets from May.

But ZTE is not relying solely on the Android operating system. “We are also working with Windows Mobile as well, as a backup choice,” He said, adding that ZTE is also looking at Nokia's MeeGo.

Improving the experience for the end user is a key focus for ZTE. “The user experience will be the centrepiece of the smartphone development strategy,” He said. Customisation and the right combination of services and terminals will boost customer loyalty “and drive more revenues for operators,” added Lin Qiang, president of ZTE handsets in Europe.

“ZTE is going to launch end-user services and applications based on cloud computing,” He noted.

The vendor joined the GSMA's Wholesale Applications Community in the third quarter of last year and from the first half of this year “we are going to launch a number of open platform products based on the WAC standards,” He revealed.

Finally, Lin addressed the issue of smartphone prices.

“Design is the key for us and is the first priority for us... the second is the competitive price,” he said, adding that ZTE aims to build a complete portfolio, ranging from ultra-low cost to high-end devices.

“We believe the high price is the bottleneck,” in the smartphone space, Lin said. “We have to lower the entry threshold of the smart device.”

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