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ZTE To Up Smartphone Shipments To Crack US Market

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Chinese manufacturer is looking to ship 20 million more phones than last year to boost its profile abroad

Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE has announced plans to up shipments of its smartphones to around 60 million, an increase of 20 million on last year’s figure, as it seeks to double its US market share in the next three years by ramping up spending on marketing.

Currently the seventh-largest manufacturer in the world, ZTE is looking to grab market share away from larger rivals such as Apple and Samsung, as well as native competitors such as Huawei (which is based in the same city as ZTE, Shenzhen), which this week announced a major jump in profits.

pile mobile phones ©iCreative3D shutterstockGoing global

Lv Qianhao, says the company is targeting a US market share of ten percent by 2017, up from its current six percent. This would still, however, place the company well behind Apple (41 percent) and Samsung (26 percent), according to September-November data from researcher comScore.

In order to achieve this growth, ZTE will increase its US marketing budget by at least 120 percent this year compared to last year, said Lv, as the company looks to boost its brand awareness in a market which still has wide-ranging suspicions regarding Chinese technology.

Although further details are still as yet unknown, ZTE last year signed a deal with the Houston Rockets basketball team and released a Rockets-branded phone.

Outside of the US, the company is looking to grow on sales from developed markets such as Russia and China, which according to Lv accounted for 68 percent of mobile device revenue last year compared with 35 percent in 2007.

Ahead of the release of its financial results, the company stated it expects 2013 to have been a profitable year, despite ZTE having recorded it’s first-ever loss as a public company in 2012.

This turnaround in fortunes is down to cutting costs, signing fewer low-margin contracts, and winning contracts to build fourth generation telecommunication networks. The latter is an area the company is especially looking to grow in, with Zhang saying that the company expects global investment in 4G technology to reach $100 billion this year.

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