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ZTE expects to double smartphone sales in 2012

Chinese phone maker exceeded 12 million smartphones sales target last year; aims to double number in 2012 with LTE devices and by expanding overseas market presence.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Having surpassed its 12 million smartphones sales target last year, ZTE is expecting this figure to double in 2012 as it continues its expansion plans in foreign markets, including the United States.

In a statement Wednesday, the China-based telecoms equipment and phone manufacturing giant said its 2011 smartphone sales figure reflected a 400 percent year-on-year increase and it expects sales numbers this year to double, driven by increased market share in Europe, North America, Brazil and Japan.

Last December, ZTE unveiled its plans to crack the U.S. market by launching LTE (long term evolution) and high-tier smartphones, which it anticipates to be its biggest market by 2015.

"ZTE US is proud of its work in 2011," said Cheng Lixin, CEO of ZTE USA and president of North America region. "We had a strong year in which we grew our presence in the United States in large part by launching a number of quality, affordable devices, many of which now bear the ZTE brand name."

"In 2012, we look forward to continuing to grow as a telecommunications leader in the U.S. market and making today's latest technologies more accessible to American customers," Cheng added in the statement.

ZTE said 2012 will see the company expand its smartphone portfolio with "new handsets running the latest operating systems". It also plans to drive LTE adoption by launching a full series of LTE handset products including smartphones, hotspots, tablets and fixed station products.

"In 2012, ZTE will put additional resources into developing LTE devices, which are very important as we increase market share across the world," He Shiyou, executive vice president and head of the terminal handset division, said in the statement. "ZTE will also develop middle- to high-end handsets and work with our partners worldwide to create flagship and series products that meet customers' demands."

Market analyst IDC reported in October that ZTE was the world's fourth largest handset maker in the third quarter of 2011, with 19.1 million shipments representing a nearly 58 percent increase year-on-year, overtaking Apple's 17.1 million shipments.

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