Forbes – Chinese cellphone makers ZTE and Huawei are heading to dominate the global low and mid end android smartphone markets. Several of the models and particularly the ZTE Blade (which Orange named “San Francisco”) became bestsellers by pushing smartphone pricing to new lows.
The Huawei Blaze is now selling for 60 pounds (US$93) without contract – and it features a 3 MP camera and a 3.2 inch display. It’s only 11 mm thick; a far cry from the chunky low-end smartphones consumers are used to.
ZTE is now targeting 80 Million handset volume in 2012 – and 100% smartphone volume growth. ZTE Blade became the second-best selling W-CDMA phone in China last summer and is now cruising towards 10 million units sold globally. The ZTE Skate is off to an even faster start. And ZTE is actually behind Huawei in China – these two combined are likely to hit 25% share of China’s handset market by summer.
ZTE and Huawei are in the process of crushing the mid-tier Android competition, but they are also eyeing other device segments. ZTE’s Windows model Tania is debuting in the UK at the monthly contract rate of 10 pounds – half of what the Nokia 710 will cost.
After strong gains in Europe and China, the Chinese vendors are now going to attack the US smartphone market in 2012. Squeezed between Apple and Samsung at one end, the Chinese low-cost vendors at the other, mid-tier vendors may be about to demolished. LG, HTC, Motorola, Sony – their bad 4Q11 performances are just a prelude to a devastating 2012.