12/8/2010 12:16:00 PM
ZTE doubles sales of handsets in UK
ZTE has more than doubled its handset and mobile broadband sales in the UK this year, grabbing 60% of the UK’s mobile broadband market share and 8% of the UK’s handset market share.
Wu Sa, ZTE’s UK director of mobile device operations, told Mobile: ‘Six months ago, our aspirations for 2010 were that we grow our mobile broadband market share in the UK from 30% in 2009 to just over 50% by the end of 2010 and to reach 6% in our handset share from a base of 3% in 2009.
‘Now, in December, we can say our devices in the UK have outperformed our plan in both areas.’
The increased sales take the combined number of ZTE devices sold in the UK in 2010 to four million, from a figure of 1.5 million in 2009.
Wu Sa said sales of ZTE’s first own-branded handset – the ZTE Racer, which it launched with Three – are going well, as are sales of ZTE’s second Android offering, the Orange San Francisco. Both are aimed at consumers wanting a high-quality smartphone on a budget.
Wu Sa said sales had exceeded expectations, adding: ‘Interestingly, it appears a grey market for these devices has emerged because they are so popular among consumers.’
ZTE launched a total of ten handsets in 2010, but Wu Sa declined to say how many handsets the company would roll out in the UK in 2011. He said: ‘In terms of smartphone sales we certainly anticipate strong growth in our share of the Android market in 2011.’
Wu Sa said ZTE would consider launching a Windows Phone 7 device if there was sufficient demand and costs were kept low. He said: ‘It is less a matter of platform - at this moment in time Android reasonably meets our criteria, but we don’t object to any other platform so long as it meets the demand of our customers and the development costs are competitive.’
ZTE will continue a multi-faceted drive into the UK market next year, said Wu Sa, producing own-branded handsets and continuing to release operator-branded phones.
ZTE after immigration cap removal
ZTE met with the Home Office this week to express concern about the UK’s cap on immigration that makes it harder for overseas businesses to recruit skilled people, such as engineers, from outside the EU.
Wu Sa said: ‘This is a big concern for us.’ He said the firm needed to bring in overseas project-based staff and warned that the restrictions could impact on the growth of the business and, in turn, on the local economy.
Wu Sa said ZTE remains committed to local employment and plans to increase its devices team head count by 30% next year through recruitment in the UK. He added that ZTE is aiming to eventually recruit up to 60% of its staff in the UK but said overseas employees would continue to be essential to the UK business.