Business / Companies

ZTE launches new smartphone in UK

By Zhang Chunyan in London (China Daily) Updated: 2012-07-20 09:11

ZTE launches new smartphone in UK

The ZTE Corp booth at the CommunicAsia 2012 trade show in Singapore last month. ZTE was ranked fourth in cell phone shipments in the world in 2011, with its shipments of smartphones reaching 15 million, surging 400 percent year-on-year. [Photo/China Daily]

ZTE Corp unveiled its latest smartphone in the United Kingdom, less than 10 days before the opening of the London Olympics, as China's telecom-equipment giant seeks a cellphone presence in Europe.

The ZTE Grand X dual-core 4.3-inch screen smartphone will arrive at the beginning of August, the company announced at a news conference Wednesday evening in London.

"As the eyes of the world focus on the London Olympics, this is the perfect opportunity to attract attention and showcase our product and image," He Shiyou, ZTE's executive vice-president and head of the Terminals Division, told China Daily.

To promote the launch, ZTE has a stand at Westfield Stratford, which is the gateway to the Olympic Park in east London, until Sept 11.

The Olympic Games will open on July 27.

In a smartphone world dominated by Samsung and Apple, ZTE also wants a piece of the action.

"The ZTE Grand X brings high-end mobile video and gaming within the reach of a whole new audience," He said.

"It provides a world of entertainment in a single device combining high quality and a wide range of functions for a great mobile multimedia experience."

ZTE wants to expand beyond the Chinese market into the West, and the Grand X is the company's first big attempt to reach beyond Asia.

Shenzhen-based ZTE is a publicly listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions with products in virtually every telecommunications sector, including wireless, access and bearer, VAS, terminals and professional services.

He said that after the UK launch, ZTE will also put on sale the Grand X in other European countries, including France.

The Grand X handset, combining an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chipset with the Android 4.0 operating system, will be available through stores of Phones 4u and Virgin Media across Britain.

Virgin Media will offer the phone on prepay for 190 pounds ($300). It is available for free on a 24-month contract from 24 pounds per month, or 19 pounds for Virgin Media customers.

"We're enjoying a great partnership with ZTE, having already launched two handsets with them this year," said Jamie Heywood, director of mobile at Virgin Media.

He described the Grand X as a fantastic addition to the extensive smartphone choices in Virgin stores.

Phones 4u has yet to reveal pricing for the handset.

According to statistics from the International Data Corporation, ZTE was ranked fourth in cell phone shipments in the world in 2011, with its shipments of smartphones reaching 15 million, surging 400 percent year-on-year.

He Shiyou said ZTE hoped to double smartphone shipments this year, while expecting to make new breakthroughs in the European market.

ZTE delivers products and services to over 500 operators in more than 140 countries and regions.

In 2011, ZTE's revenue increased by 29 percent to $13.7 billion. Its overseas operating revenue grew 30 percent to $7.4 billion during the period, accounting for 54.2 percent of overall operating revenue.

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