The ZTE Blade might not be a device you’re all-too familiar with but it’s quietly making a strong impression. Some of you may know the ZTE Blade as another name: Orange sells the device as the Orange San Francisco. Worldwide, ZTE has sold 2 million units of the handset- not a bad number AT ALL.
Furthermore, ZTE seems to be doing pretty well for themselves, planning to sell 80 million more handsets in 2011 for a grand total of 60 million more handsets than 2010. Check out the well deserved braggery in the press release below… the deserve it:
ZTE Blade Touch Screen Handset Sales Pass the Two Million Mark
Expects handset sales to reach 80 million in 2011
29 June 2011, Shenzhen – ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, has now sold more than two million ZTE Blade handsets, and is one of the top best-selling smartphones in the world.
ZTE continues to challenge the market leaders in the handset market, and expects to ship more than 80 million handsets this year, up 60 million units in 2010.
The ZTE Blade was first launched in the UK in the second half of 2010, and is now available in over 30 countries and regions, including the UK, France, Greece, Spain, Poland and Turkey. It has also successfully penetrated Japan and Finland, the home markets of major ZTE competitors.
Launched as the Orange San Francisco in the UK, the ZTE Blade’s popularity actually exceeded that of the iPhone 4 in the UK at one stage in early 2011 according to online purchase tracking company Hotukdeals. The device was promoted aggressively with a special offer price of ￡79.99 in the Orange Retail stores over part of the Christmas holiday, along with a competition to win a trip to San Francisco. The Blade was one of Orange’s best-selling handsets over this period. ZTE worked closely with Orange (Everything Everywhere) after identifying an empty market niche for smartphones priced between ￡79.99 and ￡159. The outcome of this activity was to deliver to market a device that was stylish, thinner and more fashionable for this price-conscious and trend-setting market segment.
In the annual handset opinion survey organised by the online XDA Developers forum, the ZTE Blade won a total of 24.66% votes, placing it first among the 32 handsets as judged by forum users.
The Blade handset’s popularity has also been highlighted by the hundreds of calls and emails received by ZTE asking when the next version of Android and an upgraded CPU would be available on the Blade.
In Japan, the Blade was launched as the Softbank Venus with Android 2.2. Late in the device’s development programme, Softbank decided that it should run Android 2.2, which was just being released at that time. ZTE’s research team integrated Android 2.2 into the device within a very tight timeframe, laying a solid foundation for Blade’s strong sales performance in Japan.
In Greece, the Blade has been operator Wind’s best selling smart phone since its launch in January. Monthly sales volumes of the Blade in Greece are around 3000 units, which makes that the Blade has altered the traditional market structure for Greek telecommunications.
In Finland, Blade sales exceeded sales of the most popular iPhone model in November and December 2010 and January 2011. Of interest too is that ZTE Blade owners are using their phones more intensively than others. The data traffic volume of Blade users in Finland has peaked at 700MB per month.
Building on its international success in the smart phone market, ZTE is strengthening its smart terminals product lines in China, aiming to build on its market lead at home. The ZTE V880 has been customised for China Unicom’s WCDMA network, and the Blade has been customised for China Telecom’s CDMA 2000 EVDO network and China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network for launch in the next few months.
The Blade has been recognized in industry awards around the world, including winning awards as one of the Best Handsets by German magazine “Connect”, for Best Cost/Performance and Editors Choice by Greece’s “PC World”, and in the UK, Best Value Smartphone by “Smartphone Essentials” magazine and Best Buy by “The Sunday Times”. The Blade also won the awards for Europe’s Best Design and China’s Best Design of the Year before its launch.