While the likes of Samsung and HTC are duking it out at the top, Huawei and ZTE are two manufacturers that customers can rely on for some affordable low-to mid-end Android phones and tablets. Over the last couple of months, however, we’ve seen Huawei trying to leverage its position in the market by making its phones thinner and more powerful. Where does this leave ZTE?
The world’s number four handset manufacturer, ZTE has actually sold more mobile phones than Huawei. In 2011, ZTE sold 15 million smartphones, but that’s still peanuts compared to the worldwide total of 472 million units. But ZTE thinks big. The Chinese mammoth is aiming to sell 50 million phones this year, and set itself an even more ambitious goal for the future: 100 million smartphones a year, by the end of 2015.
And since everybody else seems to be doing it, albeit with different degrees of success, ZTE is planning to follow in the footsteps of Samsung and LG by releasing that mix of a phone and tablet affectionately known as a phablet. And why stop at one phablet when you can release two? That’s exactly what ZTE had in mind, as the company is reportedly ready to ship two 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,” ZTE head of handset strategy Lv Qianhao said to reporters.
We’re certainly looking forward to what ZTE can bring to the phablet sphere. Samsung, with its Galaxy Note will be a tough act to follow, both in terms of design and sales performance. This is probably why LG decided to make its own phablet offering, the LG Optimus Vu, in a slightly unorthodox 4 : 3 aspect ratio. So far, the international release for the LG Optimus Vu hasn’t been confirmed by LG.
The Chinese are clearly looking for that big break that can make them stand out in an increasingly ferocious market. These upcoming phablets should help ZTE establish its brand as a major player in the Western markets. What do you think?