ZTE's North American business head Lixin Cheng says that when he first approached United States carriers about parting for a smartphone two years ago, they expressed quite a bit of doubt. But now, at CES 2013, the carrier executives have started responding with "Show me more."
At the Consumer Electronics Show, ZTE wowed the crowd when it introduced the incredibly powerful and gorgeous Grand S flagship. The device is powered a quad core processor and features a 5-inch 1080p display.
- 5-inch Full HD 1080p display
- 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 pro processor
- 13MP rear-facing camera; 2MP front-facing camera
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB internal storage; expandable via micro SD card
- 1780mAh battery
- Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
- 6.9mm thin
- Dolby Digital Surround Sound
Unheard of Chinese manufactures generally do not receive too much interest for a device and a year ago, that would have been the case for ZTE. There'd be little to no chance of the Grand S coming to the United States if it had launched last year. But according to Lixin Cheng at CES, the Grand S will launch in the United States later this year.
Cheng says that carrier executives have also been very interested in the 2014 concept devices ZTE has been showing them. "There was a wow factor when they saw them," he said. The carriers wanted to make sure ZTE wasn't holding any better devices back for their competitors, according to Cheng.
While early on ZTE would often cater to the wants and needs of a carrier, it says it's now having more say in the developmental process. "Before, they dominated the discussion," Cheng said. "They trust us more now."
One factor that has attracted the attention of many U.S. carriers is ZTE's shorter development time. It takes the Chinese manufacturer 6-8 months to get a product out the door, while many companies take 12 to 18 months. ZTE also has the power to produce devices much cheaper than its competitors. "We continue to position ourselves as the best [original equipment manufacture] partner," Cheng said. He went on to reiterate that the company expects much better relations with U.S. carriers this year.
Even though ZTE will enter 2013 with strong carrier support, consumers still have little to know knowledge of the company's existence. As ZTE has said in the past, it does not intend on spending a ton of money on U.S. marketing. But instead will rely on the carriers and social networks to do so.
What do you think of ZTE's chances of becoming a well-known manufacturer in the United States? Let us know down in the comments!