ZTE planning twin phablet assault for 2012

ZTE planning twin phablet assault for 2012

Let's be honest – if you were to count up the leading mobile players on your fingers, you'd probably need an accident of genetics to have enough digits for ZTE to get a mention.

But the ambitious Chinese phone maker plans on changing all that by cornering the latest mobile sub-market: smartphone-tablet hybrids... or phablets, if you prefer.

Just a year ago the phablet market didn't even exist, but the Samsung Galaxy Note dipped an oversized toe in fresh mobile waters towards the end of last year, and the rest is history.

Well, sort of, anyway. So far we've only seen Sammy's Korean chums LG coming up with an alternative to the stylus-friendly Galaxy Note – the even stranger 4:3 Optimus Vu. But ZTE plans on jumping in the phablet deep end with a pair of phone-cum-tablet competitors before the end of the year as part of its strategy to boost its total smartphone sales from 15 million in 2011 to 50 million this year, with a longer-term target of 100 million units by the year 2015.

Those are some pretty ambitious targets, but ZTE had a whole raft of new devices to show off at Mobile World Congress in February, and while otherwise its target for 2012 is to consolidate its strengthening position as a high-end device manufacturer in markets it already has a presence in, the move into phablets – announced by ZTE executive director He Shiyou this week – represents a move into the unknown.

The problem ZTE faces is an all-too-familiar one: brand recognition.

“People who buy Apple and Samsung have greater brand awareness so they might not take chances with a little-known brand, especially one from China,” Beijing-based IDC analyst Teck-Zhung Wong told Reuters, pretty much hitting the nail right on the head.

Read more about: Android

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17 comments

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 24, 2012 at 21:16

With China's firm grip on all essential rare earths, practially everything we gadgeteers value is Chinese. It's a country. Get used to it :p

Pondlife  Apr. 24, 2012 at 21:49

With China's firm grip on all essential rare earths, practially everything we gadgeteers value is Chinese. It's a country. Get used to it :p

Was anyone not used to it being a country?

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 24, 2012 at 23:07

I'm not going to beat around the bush, if I'm spending £500 on a phone I want the thing to be worth more than 45p when I sell it in 12 months time (which a ZTE won't be).

Pondlife  Apr. 24, 2012 at 23:28

If I'm spending £500 on a phone I just want to know whose money I'm using.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 24, 2012 at 23:39

If I'm spending £500 on a phone I just want to know whose money I'm using.
Yours...?

Pondlife  Apr. 24, 2012 at 23:51

hell no, definitely not

Finnboy  Apr. 25, 2012 at 02:18

I bought my ZTE Blade (Orange San Fran) for £99 if memory serves, when if very first came out. Just sold if for £74.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 25, 2012 at 07:22

I bought my ZTE Blade (Orange San Fran) for £99 if memory serves, when if very first came out. Just sold if for £74.
Hence why I mentioned high end phones. The ones where name matters.

Pondlife  Apr. 25, 2012 at 14:58

That's not the point, the point is where did he sell it for that? I want to know :)

If I could get that the g300 is very much in my future as a waiting for 4g phone.

I think any high price phone bought this year will be worth less than one bought last year is this.

Besides if the S2 was bought for that last year and now £210 the depreciation is likely still comparable..

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 25, 2012 at 15:56

That's not the point, the point is where did he sell it for that? I want to know :)

If I could get that the g300 is very much in my future as a waiting for 4g phone.

I think any high price phone bought this year will be worth less than one bought last year is this.

Besides if the S2 was bought for that last year and now £210 the depreciation is likely still comparable..

You just have to be smart about how you buy phones, I got an S2 on the day of release for £320 unlocked.

£400 from O2 plus getting £80 of VAT back from work. If you shop smart high-end phones needn't cost anywhere near the full £500.

Pondlife  Apr. 25, 2012 at 16:30

Not like everyone can get vat back from work.
Certainly not been any offers as good as the for the One X as yet anyway.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 25, 2012 at 16:39

True, I realise it depends what job you have and what position you hold and how nice your boss is as to whether or not you can claim back VAT on a phone through work.

You can get a One X in white or black with people saying it's unlocked and unbranded (even though it's sold as being on T-Mobile) for £429.99 from here. That's only 30 quid more than the S2 was from O2 last year, and you could also get an extra £5 off the One X with Quidco or TCB.

Pondlife  Apr. 25, 2012 at 16:51

As we are just killing time til tng gets released I'll say it was likely more on release day as a complete like for like and I'd trust my money with o2 slightly more than them ;)
Is a better price than I'd seen.
Tbh like the Note (and almost certainly these) it's too unwieldy for me to use how I'd prefer.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 25, 2012 at 17:07

They were runner up for best online retailer in Mobile Choice's 2011 survey thing, so they're perfectly reputable.

The first S2 I bought from O2 last year was broken, I got it home and the lock button didn't work, so I had to take it back the next day...it didn't fill me with confidence about my new toy :p.

Mobilephonesdirect's price has been £429.99 since release day, AFAIK, it's been that price for a few weeks at least, anyway.

Pondlife  Apr. 25, 2012 at 17:11

That was definitely a rough start with it. Taking it back and getting new one quite a quick process at least.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 25, 2012 at 18:01

Yeah, just annoying that I had to look at a non-functioning S2 for 24 hours after waiting ages for it to be released haha :D. I was the first person to buy an S2 from that O2 shop and the first to take a faulty one back. Even the manager said he hoped that it didn't turn out to be a trend with S2s. Luckily, I've heard/read nothing about similar issues since so I guess I just got a dodgy unit.

I'm hoping O2 sell TNG for £399.99 this year ;)!

Pondlife  Apr. 26, 2012 at 21:44

I bought my ZTE Blade (Orange San Fran) for £99 if memory serves, when if very first came out. Just sold if for £74.

Where?

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