ZTE closing on handset top five

Matt Lewis/Rethink Wireless
06 Sep 2010

Phone makers aspire for a place in the handset hall of fame - the top five ranking - but for most it remains just that; an aspiration.

However, ZTE's announcement Friday that the company has shipped a record number of devices in the first half of the year consolidates it status in this elusive position.

In the first half of 2010, the Chinese infrastructure provider shipped 28 million phones, 11 million into its domestic market and 17 million internationally, representing a 40% increase year-on-year.

This is all the more impressive considering that in the first three months of the year Gartner estimated that ZTE shipped just 5 million devices, suggesting that ZTE more than quadrupled its sales in the second quarter.

The head of ZTE's mobile terminals business, He Shiyou, is confident that handset revenue will grow by over 30% this year.

He attributed the ramp-up in ZTE's handset business to three factors: increasing demands from international markets; growing traction for 3G in China; and the increasing popularity of smartphones worldwide.

On the smartphone front, ZTE responded to the growing demand by launching ten Android handset models in the first half of the year, many of these at the low-cost end of the spectrum.

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