If you're in the States and you were hoping to get your hands on the ZTE Grand S prepare for a slight disappointment. According to Lixin Cheng, the head of ZTE's North American division, the Grand S won't be available to US consumers until 2014. This is all despite the fact that the company announced in January the handset would be available in the US "soon."
Cheng says that the extensive delay is because the company needs additional time to accommodate wireless carrier customer requests. Well, there's certainly no surprise there. Cheng said not to worry though, the company will not be releasing a year old handset when the time arrives. The device set to launch in 2014 will still be part of the "Grand S family."
"The Grand S series will evolve."
This is troubling news for ZTE indeed, as they've been trying to make their way into the US market for some time now. They've done a fantastic job in the prepaid market where they currently hold the number three position among all mobile vendors. However, prepaid is an entirely separate market from the national wireless industry.
In fact, ZTE announced a 85.7% increase in year-over-year growth in the prepaid market alone. That's not too shabby, so it will be interesting to see how they fare in the national market once they eventually worm their way in.
To counteract these issues, ZTE is now going to focus on promoting and marketing their brand more, despite previous announcements that they would focus solely on products. That being said, the company is still working to deliver "affordable premium" handsets. During the Mobile World Congress in February, ZTE unveiled the Grand Memo phablet which should be arriving sometime later this year.
They're not the only company having a hard time breaking into the US market. Similar manufacturers like Huawei have been plagued with a rather lengthy list of problems. It would be nice to see more competition in the mobile market, so it's a shame ZTE products are taking so long to become available here in the States.
That being said, would you even be willing to use an "affordable premium" ZTE product or would you much rather go with a name-brand handset instead?