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ZTE strategy to focus on higher end smartphones

Chinese manufacturer ZTE is set to home in on producing more mid- to high-end smartphones through 2013 as it seeks to break into the uppermost echelons of the mobile industry.

Now the fourth-largest handset maker in the world, the foundations of ZTE’s success came from releasing mostly budget phones which have been snapped up in huge quantities across the Asian market.

But the company’s head of handset strategy, Lv Qianhao, told Reuters that ZTE is now hoping to make bigger margins from selling higher end devices. Accordingly, he said the firm expects to ship more than 50 million smartphones this year, making up 70 per cent of ZTE’s overall consumer device sales forecasted for 2013.

"We would like to raise the percentage of mid- to high-range smartphones,” Qianhao said. “That's the direction we're heading."

The strategy has already begun to materialise with the launch of the ZTE Grand S at CES in January. The super-thin 5in ‘phablet’ packs some impressive specifications and runs Google’s latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS. ZTE will no doubt be hoping the Grand S is soon mentioned in the same breath as market leaders such as the iPhone and Samsung’s flagship smartphones.

A fresh burst of market competition will arrive for ZTE today however, as RIM finally reveals BlackBerry 10 and its accompanying handsets. Check out our BlackBerry 10 index which will be updated throughout the day with everything you need to know about the launch.