ZTE aims to increase its smartphone sales volumes by as much as 50% this year, and plans to focus on high-end smartphones to boost its profit margins and revenue.
Dr Lv Qianhao, head of ZTE’s handset strategy, said the company expects to sell more than 50 million smartphones this year, or 70% of total sales, from the 35 million smartphone it shipped in 2012.
Last year, ZTE shipped 65 million handsets. Smartphone sales volumes more than doubled from 15.8 million in 2011.
According to IDC, ZTE was the world’s fifth largest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter through December with 4.3% of the global market, behind Samsung, Apple, Huawei and Sony.
The company is looking to shift its focus away from low-end smartphones and moving toward high-end devices in 2013, as a prior focus on low-end affordable phones has taken its toll on the company’s bottom line.
“We are increasing the percentage of mid- and high-end smartphone this year, while continuing to cut down the number of new models we introduce to increase profit margins,” he said.
Among the new products include the recently unveiled Grand S as well as the Grand Memo tablet phone, which ZTE plans to debut at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
The Grand S, which was launched at CES this year, runs on Android 4.1.2 and supports TDD/FDD-LTE. The Android smartphone will hit the China market in mid-February after the Chinese New Year and then be available to US and Europe markets, Lv noted.
Lv said ZTE also hopes to increase the growth in smartphone sales in developed markets, including Japan, US and Europe, to help improve its revenues and profit.
Currently China accounts 40% of the company’s handset revenues, while US contributed about 20-25%, Lv noted.