Lv Qianhao, Head of ZTE’s Handset Strategy, recently gave an interview to Retuers where he revealed some of the company’s ambitions for this year and beyond. First up is smartphones. The company predicted that they would ship 12 million of them in 2011, but they apparently “far exceeded” that goal. That’s a bit vague to be honest, but whatever, their mission for 2012 is to double the number of smartphone sales they had last year. Regarding total device sales, meaning smartphones and feature phones, ZTE set a target to ship 80 million in 2011, which is 30% more than they shipped in 2010. They not only hit that goal, but they say that they’re going to have the same 30% to 40% level of growth for at least the next three years. The most telling quote from the whole interview was how Qianhao described his company:
“If we say ZTE started out as a contractor, like those building mass housing that are value for money, then we want to be a developer of luxury high-end estates.”
Note that Qianhao carries three smartphones with him, two made by ZTE, one running Android, the other running Windows Phone, and the third phone is (no surprise) an Apple iPhone. If ZTE wants to make devices that come close to the iPhone in terms of build quality and lust worthiness, then they have quite a bit of work to do. But back to ZTE’s growth, where are they going to ship all those new devices that they plan to build? Qianhao points to China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies. Take the ZTE Blade for example, a highly popular $200 Android smartphone. Of the 8 million that the company shipped globally, 5 million of them were sold in China.
Now with all that said, we seriously think that Huawei has a better chance at being China’s next successful brand to get recognized by consumers for their devices. Right now Lenovo represents China, and they’re just starting to get into the smartphone game, so watch out for their products too!