updated 04:52 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
Chinese manufacturer aims for number three spot by 2015
Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE has set its sights high for the next few years. As +D Mobile reports today, the company has reaffirmed its lofty sales estimates for this year, and executives believe ZTE can achieve the number-three position among smartphone manufacturers within the next three years.
ZTE has set 35 million units as a target for 2012, and the company has shipped 19.8 million mobile phones in the first quarter of this year, though that estimate includes non-smartphone units. The Chinese manufacturer last year shipped 15 million smartphones, thanks in large part to its products' popularity in Asian markets.
Executives at the company believe that, by 2015, ZTE could be shipping 100 million phones per ear, which maybe enough to take the number-three position behind Apple and Samsung. To achieve this goal, ZTE plans to market heavily in developing markets, with only half of its handsets going to the US, Europe, and Japan. To improve its standing in developed markets, ZTE is looking to reshape its brand image in those regions, pushing higher-end smartphones in order to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung.
ZTE may encounter roadblocks on the way to improving its image, though. Recently, the company was forced to admit that its Score handsets contained a serious security hole, and the company is currently under investigation by the US government for alleged sales of embargoed equipment to Iran. Adding to ZTE's troubles, the company is also facing off against regulators in both the European Union and the United States over accusations that illegal subsidies from the Chinese government allow it to price its products below those of its competitors.