ZTE targets the iPhone and Galaxy S3 – Will the Grand S or Nubia Z5 be their weapon of choice?


A few days ago we showed you guys a few images of the ZTE Grand S, a sexy new offering from the Chinese manufacturer with a spec sheet that would make even the highest-end of smartphones blush. Said to be shown off at CES in just a few weeks, the Grand S will come equipped with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of multitasking RAM, high-res 13MP camera, and a next-gen 5-inch 1080p full HD display. Impressive? You betcha, especially coming from a company who’s mostly known around these parts for their low-end hardware.

When we showed you a glimpse of the device yesterday, the question many of our readers had was simply: will this device even hit stateside? Well, perhaps the Wall Street Journal‘s interview with ZTE Executive Vice President He Shiyou can shed a little light on the subject. According to He, ZTE isn’t satisfied with their current 5% market share in the US, and they’re looking to go head-to-head with Apple and Samsung for title of the world’s top 3 smartphone brands. World wide, ZTE ships 7.5 million smartphones, just 4.2% shy of Apple’s market share.

In the interview, Shiyou expects that the US will be the key to their success with hopes that it will soon become their #1 source of revenue. Of course, these are words we’ve heard before. It was in January of this year ZTE made similar statements, and the most we saw from them stateside were devices like the Sprint Flash and Sprint Fury.

So, just how can ZTE hope to compete against high-end devices like the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3? Well, the ZTE Grand S could be just the device to take ’em to the top (or at least the #3 spot). Of course, we know a handset maker can only get so far without the blessing of the US’ top for carriers. ZTE is well aware of this and one of their priorities will be working on improving their relationship with our carriers to become a “strategic partner.”

There’s also the ZTE’s new Nubia sub-brand in which we saw the wonderfully spec’d Nubia Z5 officially announced just a few days ago. You may have noticed carriers like Sprint tend to rebrand ZTE’s devices as their own, and while we can’t be sure if it’s because of brand unfamiliarity with consumers or perhaps the company’s shaky past with the US government, perhaps Nubia can get them past all that. With cutting edge design and high-end hardware, Nubia seems like the perfect brand for ZTE to swoop in and become successful in the US. If you’ve seen the hardware specs on the Nubia Z5, you probably want the device to come stateside as much as I do.

We’ll have to wait and see what 2013 has in store for ZTE, with their showing at CES giving us a first glimpse at what they may have planned. In the crowded smartphone market, we could always use one more Android OEM to shake things up and ZTE/Nubia looks like they could be the ones to do just that. Anyone else excited at the prospect of ZTE Grand S or Nubia Z5 coming stateside?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Its chinese it will suck

    1. You know everything is made in China, right? Like that keyboard you’re typing on right now.

      1. SwiftKey is made in China?

        1. swiftkey is software not hardware just so you know!!

          1. I’m pretty sure they were kidding.

        2. See and you thought it was clever software making those suggestions. Really its just a bunch of Chinese workers who make the suggestions as you type.

      2. It’s actually quite different. Keyboards are relatively dumb with little to know real design, electrical or telecomm engineering required. Just because underpaid Chinese working at an iphone factory assembling prefabed parts doesn’t mean they know how to construct a phone, integrate components and have it all talk to the OS with no issues. Outside of that, how they are funded should alarm a lot of people. I’d actually love for someone outside of China to sniff around the components, OS and layers to see what all is in there.

    2. Just like your mom.

      1. DEEEEEEEEM!

    3. So is iphone and almost every other mobile phone except Samsung andLG.

  2. Nice looking device

    1. Grand S and Nubia Z5 are specs. Nothing else. And this will not allow them to beat true tech titan SAMSUNG which becomes bigger and bigger in Android sleek customization, premium quality software and unique features.

      Apple has ZERO tech.

      Motorola will be #3. Ultra-profitable. Made in USA. W/ made in USA Android on board. True hi-end.

      Made in China iphone isn’t hi-end. Mass-market (20+ million devices per Q). Premium? NO.

      Made in China BMW with ONLY profits in mind and 20 million+ cars per Q wouldn’t be considered a premium car manufacturer, right? BMW is made in Germany, 2012 RECORD sales: 1.8 million vehicles.

      It’s ironic that made in China iphone is popular in the country of its manufacturing and assembling (not by Apple), China. But made in USA Android is the leading OS there and almost everywhere else, including USA!

      Made in USA FTW!=)
      Happy New Year, Android is awesome!

  3. Now we’re talking.

  4. Why target something that has been out for months? Of course the S4 and next iPhone will be something greater than what they are now.

    1. I think the S4 will match the Nubia Z5. 5-inch display, 1080p, 13MP camera, etc.. iPhone 5S? Dead in the water :p

      1. To paraphrase a has-been politician:

        Not much we can do about the 47% who will always use an iPhone…..:-P

  5. Why not come up with a design that doesn’t look like a deliberate cross between a one s and gs3 and even some Iphone in there.

    1. They actually contracted Italian designer Stefano Giovannoni who appears to have taken some slight design cues from other popular devices. I still think it looks good and unique.

  6. This company is dreaming!!!

  7. Who does ZTE think they are that they think they can take on Samsung?!?!? The only carriers ZTE stands a chance with are MetroPCS and Cricket.

    1. Did you see the Grand S/Nubia Z5?

      Also, it seems they’ll be content with the #3 spot. Samsung is far too powerful right now.

    2. Sprint and Tmobile have ZTE phones too. Your point is void. Plus they have no intention of taking on Samsung, just being third.

    3. relax man take it easy, is more than enough for me and tmobile.

  8. …and the timeline of software update?

    1. If it’s anything other than a Nexus device — no manufacturer will ever give you an accurate timeline. Ever.

  9. The design reminds me of a HTC and iPhone mix

      1. The button in the mid-bottom of the phone… Is that even a button? I can’t tell from the picture

        1. No its a LED notification according to GSM arena, like the one on the Galaxy Nexus.

  10. What’s up with these nay sayer? People use to say same thing about Japanese and Korean brands. If zte has the balls to make great spec’d phones then good for them. I would buy this is available in the states. Nay sayers might be I fans anyway.

    1. no “nay sayers” know ZTE and a couple other brands are funded by the Chinese government. Never use GFE (Government furnished equipment).

      1. Governments are always watching you whether is USA, China, Russia, India etc. There is no getting around it. Everything you text, fax, email, chat etc are all recorded by US govt agencies like NSA and even translated if written in foreign languages and archived forever and ever

  11. Nubia is what I want to see though by the time it hits stateside Apple will sue them for having a dot in the bottom middle of the device saying cop cat wahhhhhhhh wah

  12. not with that ZTE UI…

  13. An MIUI smartphone! Coolness. If this comes to the US, might have to put my GN2 up for sale.

  14. I would love to get the Zte grand S but I would have to make sure someone is working on a custom ROM and root method before I buy because I prefer the stock experience. If it gets support from the modding community this will more than likely be my next phone. I don’t think I can wait till April for the s4, I need some new tech, I’m currently on a rooted S2…..

  15. looks like a nice pone

  16. assimilate, or die……

  17. Buy ZTE if u wanna constantly press “software update” icon.

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