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ZTE’s Growth in the US is due to “Cheap” Smartphones

September 4, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

ZTE is one of those names that you probably don’t hear about all the time. Especially here in the US. Here, when it comes to smartphones we are mostly talking about Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola. ZTE has been in the US for quite a while, but many people don’t know about the company. They have phones available on just about all of the carriers, especially the prepaid carriers like Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile. And that’s how they are winning the US. By selling smartphones that are unsubsidized and are cheap. While they may not have a curved display, or a Snapdragon 810, or a 23MP camera on the back side. For many people, what phones like the ZTE ZMAX offer are perfect.

The ZTE ZMAX was announced last fall for T-Mobile and MetroPCS, it costed around $200 at launch and is likely even cheaper now. It has a big display, a big battery and a semi-decent camera. Like I said above, for many people it’s perfect. In fact, I used it as my own daily driver for a few weeks after I reviewed the thing. And I was perfectly happy. ZTE has done this quite well, offering devices at a decent price on just about every carrier. While they don’t spend millions on marketing, they are still making a ton of money on the US market.

The big issue for the company now is making a higher profit. Since 2014, their market share has nearly doubled in the US. However, revenue has only increased about 4%. With ZTE losing more and more market share in their home country of China – they are now 8th in terms of market share – ZTE needs to turn a bigger profit here in the US and even in Europe as well with the newly announced AXON Elite. ZTE is currently number three in North America and with more and more competition popping up, they need to bring their A-game and bring in some higher profit margins as well. The AXON brand is going to be good for that, as it’s a high-end smartphone and will likely sell quite well for the company.