updated 04:05 pm EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
Handset maker expects to ship 100M phones a year
Chinese handset maker ZTE is looking to reverse declining margins on its phones by improving its brand image to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Reuters reports that the company expects it may be shipping 100 million smartphones a year by 2015.
ZTE is already the world's fourth-largest handset producer and the fifth-ranked manufacturer of telecom gear. Last year, the company sold 15 million smartphones, with a focus on lower-end budget offerings, and it may sell 50 million more this year. Despite its standing and sales, though, the company does not have solid brand awareness outside of China.
ZTE is looking to improve the image of its brand and is moving to produce higher value products to compete with Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy phone line. Company officials hope that the move into higher end handsets will increase profit margins for ZTE's consumer gadgets division, which saw margins drop 3.81 percent in 2011.
ZTE's current offerings include the Blade, which has sold more than 8 million units since its release two years ago, and the Era, announced this year at Mobile World Congress. ZTE also plans to address the mid-level smartphone sector with its Mimosa X, a 4.3-inch Android handset. In addition to phones, the company offers phone-tablet hybrids and seven- and 10-inch tablets running Android 4.0.