ZTE is initially targeting UK launches for its Acqua and Kis devices, with a possible fourth quarter release for its dual-core Mimosa X smartphone.
The manufacturer had a busy Mobile World Congress, unveiling eight new devices ranging from high-spec to entry-level smartphones.
Wu Sa, ZTE’s UK director of mobile operations, said he hoped the new devices would help the firm build its UK share to at least 10% by 2015.
The Chinese company has ambitions to be the third largest global manufacturer within the same period. Wu said: ‘The UK is one of the most liberal telecoms markets in the world and also one of the most competitive. The UK has been, and continues to be, a driving market for ZTE’s strategy.’
Of the new devices unveiled at the annual trade show in Barcelona, Wu Sa said the Acqua and Kis would definitely hit the UK market this year. Both are entry-level smartphones running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Mimosa X was ZTE’s highest profile launch, with a dual-core processor running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Wu said: ‘The high-spec Mimosa X will hopefully come to the UK by Q4. It will give us an entry-level price but it will support people seeking a rich customer experience.’
Despite the own-brand launches, Wu said the company was still committed to white label devices. He said: ‘In the UK we don’t hide the fact that we have been extremely successful with white label devices. It has provided a solid base and we believe up to 10 million people have benefited from using a ZTE phone since 2005.’
However, to back these new launches, Wu said the company could look beyond its current distributor Brightpoint. He said: ‘We aspire to grow the business and want to give partners and consumers the best level of support. Therefore, we will focus on our choice of distribution partner to give that level of support. We don’t exclude any other possible partners, whether it’s in distribution, retail, handset specialist stores or MVNOs. We will focus on selecting the partner or partners to deliver maximum customer satisfaction.’
Wu added that the manufacturer would continue to show faith in the Windows Phone platform in addition to producing Android-powered devices. He said: ‘Clearly Windows Phone has a relatively modest market share but it is offering a good customer experience. We are confident about it and believe it will become an increasingly important platform over the next two to three years to give people more choice.’