ZTE Bets Big On India's Smartphone Market
Chinese telecom gear maker, ZTE Corporations, is betting big on the burgeoning Indian smartphone market. The company plans to launch six new smartphones in India this year, and also said it is planning to set up an R&D facility for its handset business.
The new devices will be 3G and 4G enabled and priced between Rs. 7,000 and Rs. 18,000 to cater to different market segments. The firm, which has 18 R&D centres across China, US and Europe, spends 10% of its revenue from handsets on R&D.
In an interview with Business Line, Adam Zeng, Chief Experience Officer and Chief Executive Officer – ZTE Mobile Devices informed that the company will deploy a hybrid marketing strategy involving partner operators and independent channel partners to sell its new mobile phones.
While India’s smartphone market is dotted with competition, ZTE has to face challenges from global players such as Samsung and Nokia as well as home-grown Micromax and Kanbonn. However, The handset maker will also double its marketing and branding expenditure this year, according to the report.
Lv Qian Haw, head of devices strategy at ZTE said that the company will introduce its ’service at the doorstep’ strategy to back its pan-India handset marketing operations, who told media that “In the next three years, we would be among top five brand vendors of handsets in India.”
The company has reportedly planned to team up with five regional distributors for its handsets business across India, besides selling its premium phones like the Nubia devices through online retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Flipkart, according to an ET report.
Driving 4G growth
Zeng hinted that while ZTE is increasingly focusing on open market channels to drive handset penetration in China, it is likely to rely on operator partners to maximise sales in key international markets such as India and the US where 4G deployments are largely operator-driven. The company also announced an agreement with Aircel for deploying the latter’s 4G broadband network based on LTE technology.
The handset maker is also in talks with global chipset suppliers such as MediaTek, Marvell and Qualcomm to bring in affordable 4G phones in the country since it realizes that “affordability” will drive 4G growth.
While ZTE has focused on Android devices so far, it is likely to introduce phones that also run on the Firefox operating system later this year, he said.
Earlier the company said in a report that it is chalking out an aggressive retail expansion plan for the Indian market. ZTE will target 6,000 retails outlets across the country in the next 2 years. The company will also announced it will continue to invest aggressively in its terminals business said a senior officer and also entered the managed services space with MTS after service contracts.
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