ZTE has signed a distribution agreement with Brightpoint as the manufacturer looks to increase its penetration of the UK market.
The agreement will see ZTE step out of the white label business and into the smartphone arena. The manufacturer expects to ship more than 80 million handsets this year, up from 60 million units in 2010.
ZTE UK director of mobile device operations Wu Sa said: ‘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.
‘We chose to work with Brightpoint since its strategy dovetails with ours. ZTE made a commitment at the start of 2011 to alter its strategy from being a feature phone-centric supplier to producing much higher-end smartphones and delivering an enhanced user experience to the mass market. We are working closely with Brightpoint to launch smartphones into the UK market this year. We expect ZTE to become a household name synonymous with high quality smartphones and tablets.'
IDC analyst John Delaney said: ‘The European smartphone market is at its hottest right now, and it will stay hot for several years to come. Between the start of 2011 and the end of 2015, we expect over 725 million smartphones to be purchased in Europe. The focus in smartphones tends to be concentrated on the software platform but some of the Asian vendors are reminding us that the hardware brand, too, can still be a powerful driver for success in the smartphone market.’
‘We are delighted to be working with ZTE in the UK,’ added James Bannister, Brightpoint VP of the UK and Ireland