ZTE sets target of 100m smartphone sales a year by 2015


Handset manufacturer outlines plans at its annual analyst conference, setting smartphone sales targets of 50 million this year and 100 million in under three years

ZTE has claimed it could be shipping 100 million smartphones a year by 2015 and said it may sell 50 million of them this year.

The handset manufacturer sold 15 million smartphones last year. A total of 472 million smartphones were sold globally last year, according to research firm Gartner. Credit Suisse has predicted sales will top one billion by 2014.

At its annual analyst conference in Shezhen, China yesterday (April 24), ZTE executive director He Shiyou said it plans to focus on upgrading its Blade and Skate smartphones, rather than launching brand new models. It is also expecting to double its tablet sales this year.

The Blade was launched two years ago and more than eight million units have been sold globally as ZTE pushed into the smartphone mass-market.

This was further emphasised when it unveiled the Era at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. The handset is powered by a quad-core processor and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It has a 4.3 inch QHD touchscreen, 8GB of expandable memory with a microSD card, HD voice and Dolby sound technology.

ZTE will follow Samsung’s lead with its Galaxy Note device by launching its first two phone-cum-tablet ‘phablets’ this year in an attempt to branch out from China’s mass market.

In addition, Shiyou said ZTE’s aim this year is to increase handset margins. “As handsets contribute more to overall revenue, it will affect our profit margins,” he added.

ZTE’s consumer gadgets division, which comprises mainly handset sales, had a gross profit margin of 15.18 per cent in 2011. That was a decrease of 3.81 percentage points from a year earlier.

The handset manufacturer is expected to report financial results for the first three months of this year, with analysts predicting a 10 per cent increase in net profit to £18 million from £16.3 million in the first quarter of 2011.