ZTE bullish on handset sales in Philippines

Chinese telecom equipment vendor launches two new smartphones in the Philippines which it expects will help boost handset sales in the country by some 500 percent.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE said it expects its two new smartphones launched in the Philippines to boost handset sales in the country by 500 percent.

The company introduced the ZTE Grand Era, the world's slimmest quad-core smartphone, and the Grand X LTE T82 dual-core smartphone, Xinhua reported Thursday.

The Philippines is the first Asian country, outside China, to get the Grand Era due to its large population, wide acceptance of ZTE products and good market prospects, according to Liu Guoxin, regional brand director for ZTE Asia-Pacific and Commonwealth of Independent States. The device will soon be available in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, he added.

ZTE's Grand Era U985 launched in China in September (credit: ZTE)

The ZTE Grand Era, measuring 0.31 inches in thickness, debuted in China in September, and in Europe last month.
"The Grand Era has opened the door to the quad-core era for ZTE smartphones. We believe this product will produce a butterfly effect across the industry and the market," said Chen Yi, president of ZTE Philippines.

The entry of Grand Era into the current crop of ZTE smartphones available in the country is expected to help strengthen the brand, a relative newcomer, as a serious player in the Philippines handset market, the report noted.

Feng Kan, director for device department at ZTE Philippines, pointed out that all Grand Series models were dual-SIM capable, allowing users to easily combine work and personal communications without having to bear the cost of having two devices.

Dual-SIM phones are popular in emerging markets such as India and the Philippines because the majority are prepaid subscribers, and customers tend to switch between service providers to save marginal costs wherever possible. Analysts highlighted that mobile phonemakers can gain a competitive edge by customizing their designs and features according to the local markets they want to target.

The Philippines was the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia in 2012, according to research firm GfK.

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