ZTE Ramps Global Device Shipments

ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) announced on Tuesday that it shipped 60 million devices, of which 35 million were handsets, in the first half of 2011. (See ZTE Touts Device Sales.)

Handset shipments in the first quarter increased by 30 percent compared with the same period last year. Of the 35 million handsets shipped, 5 million were smartphones, which marks a 400 percent increase year-on-year for smart terminal sales, the company said.

ZTE reported the biggest growth in the U.S., where device shipments in the first half of the year increased 300 percent. In Europe, ZTE said it has partnerships with 65 operators and handsets sales in the region increased 30 percent in the first half of 2011, compared with the year-ago period.

In China, the vendor said its handset business is growing at a rate of 20 percent, thanks mainly to Android-based smartphones like the Blade. The company claims the Blade is China's highest-selling Android smartphone on a daily basis, with sales averaging 16,000 units per day. ZTE said it has sold 2.5 million Blade devices worldwide and expects to sell more than 5 million this year in total.

Before the end of the year, ZTE said it will launch "30 smart terminals," including high-end smartphones like the Skate, Windows Phone 7–based handsets as well as Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) dual-mode devices.

Why this matters
ZTE has big ambitions in the global device and handset market, and these figures show where and how it is making progress. The company's plans for smartphones later this year are also revealing because they show how ZTE's aggressive device strategy is a threat not only for low-end handset makers but for the likes of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and other makers of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android smartphones as well.

For more
Read more about ZTE's device strategy here:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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