ZTE eyes Q2 2012 for launch of its 4G devices

Currently Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone landscape, but ZTE can make an impact in the low priced segment.

Worlds number 5 cell phone maker, ZTE Corp., plans to launch 4G handsets in the second quarter of 2012. The company aims to grab more market share by expanding its product range. Over the next three years, the company sees its mobile shipments rising by 30 to 40 percent.

The Shenzhen-based company shipped 35 million handsets in the first half, on track to achieve its target of 80 million units for the year, which would be a third higher than last year, it said earlier this year. Ding Ning, president of ZTE's handset division, has been quoted as saying, We will be rolling out 4G phones in advanced countries first. We are talking to more than one overseas network carrier now.

Currently most mobile phones use 2G or 3G technologies, but 4G, which refers to the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards, is being touted as the future of mobile telephony. ZTEs Skate smartphone is being launched today in Hong Kong. The device uses Android 2.3 and sports a Qualcomm chipset.

According to a report from Gartner, ZTE, with more than 3 percent of the share in global mobile phone market, is behind Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics and Apple Inc. Ding Ning said the company had seen good sales in emerging markets, such as Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, and was unfazed by economic doldrums in the United States and Europe.

Ding has also revealed that ZTE is planning to introduce handsets that run on Microsoft Corp's mobile operating system later this year. With top Chinese Internet companies such as Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group recently launching mobile operating systems, Ding said ZTE had no immediate plans to come up with its own platform.

ZTE's shares listed in Hong Kong have lost more than a fifth of their value this year due to the global economic downturn.

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