ZTE has sold more than two million of its mid-range smartphone,
the ZTE Blade. The vendor expects to ship more than 80 million handsets
in total this year, up from 60 million in 2010. The ZTE Blade was
first launched in the UK as the Orange San Francisco in the second half
of 2010, and is now available in over 30 countries and regions.
ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock
code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of
telecommunications equipment and network solutions, has now sold more
than two million ZTE Blade handsets, and is one of the top best-selling
smartphones in the world.
ZTE continues to challenge the market leaders in the handset market,
and expects to ship more than 80 million handsets this year, up 60
million units in 2010.
The ZTE Blade was first launched in the UK in the second half of
2010, and is now available in over 30 countries and regions, including
the UK, France, Greece, Spain, Poland and Turkey. It has also
successfully penetrated Japan and Finland, the home markets of major
Launched as the Orange San Francisco in the UK, the ZTE Blade’s
popularity actually exceeded that of the iPhone 4 in the UK at one
stage in early 2011 according to online purchase tracking company
Hotukdeals. The device was promoted aggressively with a special offer
price of ￡79.99 in the Orange Retail stores over part of the Christmas
holiday, along with a competition to win a trip to San Francisco. The
Blade was one of Orange's best-selling handsets over this period. ZTE
worked closely with Orange (Everything Everywhere) after identifying an
empty market niche for smartphones priced between ￡79.99 and ￡159. The
outcome of this activity was to deliver to market a device that was
stylish, thinner and more fashionable for this price-conscious and
trend-setting market segment.
In the annual handset opinion survey organised by the online XDA
Developers forum, the ZTE Blade won a total of 24.66% votes, placing it
first among the 32 handsets as judged by forum users.
The Blade handset’s popularity has also been highlighted by the
hundreds of calls and emails received by ZTE asking when the next
version of Android and an upgraded CPU would be available on the Blade.
In Japan, the Blade was launched as the Softbank Venus with Android
2.2. Late in the device’s development programme, Softbank decided that
it should run Android 2.2, which was just being released at that time.
ZTE’s research team integrated Android 2.2 into the device within a
very tight timeframe, laying a solid foundation for Blade’s strong
sales performance in Japan.
In Greece, the Blade has been operator Wind’s best selling smart
phone since its launch in January. Monthly sales volumes of the Blade
in Greece are around 3000 units, which makes that the Blade has altered
the traditional market structure for Greek telecommunications.
In Finland, Blade sales exceeded sales of the most popular iPhone
model in November and December 2010 and January 2011. Of interest too
is that ZTE Blade owners are using their phones more intensively than
others. The data traffic volume of Blade users in Finland has peaked at
700MB per month.
Building on its international success in the smart phone market, ZTE
is strengthening its smart terminals product lines in China, aiming to
build on its market lead at home. The ZTE V880 has been customised for
China Unicom’s WCDMA network, and the Blade has been customised for
China Telecom’s CDMA 2000 EVDO network and China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA
network for launch in the next few months.
The Blade has been recognized in industry awards around the world,
including winning awards as one of the Best Handsets by German magazine
“Connect”, for Best Cost/Performance and Editors Choice by Greece’s
“PC World”, and in the UK, Best Value Smartphone by “Smartphone
Essentials” magazine and Best Buy by “The Sunday Times”. The Blade also
won the awards for Europe’s Best Design and China’s Best Design of the
Year before its launch.