ZTE proves that cheaper Chinese smartphones with top-quality features can go far in the US, where it now ranks as No 4 vendor

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 September, 2015, 8:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2018, 5:01pm

ZTE, one of China's top telecoms equipment makers, has become the No 4 smartphone vendor in the United States with a 7.7 per cent share, according to the latest data from Strategy Analytics.

The Shenzhen-headquartered company, known for its Nubia 5S Mini LTE, Lever LTE and other popular models, saw its smartphone shipments to the US jump 41 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, the figures showed. 

It now follows Apple, which is expected to unveil its latest iPhone on Wednesday, Samsung and LG in that market.

In the April-to-June period, ZTE saw its overall shipments to the US grow by a whopping 60 per cent, while the total number of handsets it shipped there climbed 53 per cent, according to the data.

The company also maintained its position as the second-largest manufacturer in the US market for prepaid phones, ITG Research reported.

With Apple removed from the equation, it claimed a 12.6 per cent share of the US market for Android phones.

ZTE's total number of active users in the country reached 20 million and by the end of 2014 as ZTE-branded smartphones became more affordable, said David Dai, a spokesman for the company. 

“Among those smartphones available in the US market priced at about US$150, our devices are the most cost-effective in light of their premium features,” he said.

ZTE launched its new Axon in the US in July, the first time the Chinese vendor has launched one of its flagship models in that market first. 

With a retail price of around US$450, the high-quality model boasts a strong performance and can compete with Samsung’s more expensive S6 and Apple’s iPhone 6, which now retails for around US$600, Dai said.

The company is now targeting third place in the US, a goal it considers achievable in the near future, he added.

“Our close relationships with carriers ensure we’re meeting or exceeding their high standards of quality and delivering devices and features consumers need,” he said, adding that the company fully complies with US intellectual property right laws.