ZTE sells 26M smartphones in H1 2015, still eyes top-3 handset spot in the US


Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has been on the up and up as of late, especially when taking into account the last two years of its smartphone business. Back in March, the company announced a 94-percent increase in its net profit in 2014, along with an increase in worldwide smartphone shipments by more than 50 percent that same year. Now company officials have released some numbers for the first half of 2015, giving us a good look at how ZTE is fairing in the handset market.

ZTE has just reported that it shipped 26 million smartphones worldwide in the first half of the year, roughly 39 percent of those being high-end devices. Total shipments of smartphones, tablets and smart home products totaled around 46 million. The company has of course been focusing on international markets such as the U.S., and it looks like its hard work has paid off – ZTE has announced a 41-percent increase in its United States smartphone shipments in H1 of this year.

As it stands, ZTE plans to sell roughly 60 million units worldwide throughout the entire year, though it may run in to some stiff competition as we make the jump from H1 to H2. New flagships from popular OEMs like Xiaomi, Huawei and Meizu are expected to launch within the next few months, potentially making it difficult for ZTE to sell as many units as it originally forecasted.

ZTE’s big plans for the U.S. might not be as attainable as it once thought

In March, the Chinese device maker announced its goal to make it into the top three U.S. smartphone vendors by the year 2017. From a numbers standpoint, this is entirely possible. The company has seen major growth in its smartphone business over the past two years, and it already holds the fourth place spot in North America, behind Apple, Samsung and LG. But as time goes on ZTE is now realizing this goal may not be as attainable as it once thought. The new target date to become a top-three device seller in the U.S. has just been pushed back to 2020. In addition to the U.S.-based achievement, it also plans to become the number one Chinese brand in overseas markets by the same year.

ZTE has been making a push into the United States over the years, and we’ve already seen some fruits of its labor. Not only is the company relying on high-end smartphone sales in the U.S., it’s also going through an aggressive branding push that will hopefully court more users away from manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. Although ZTE hasn’t confirmed this information, we know that the company is behind the mysterious Axon Phone that’s set to launch in the U.S. on July 14th. This device will undoubtedly face some challenges when it launches, but maybe that’s all part of the plan to increase brand awareness.

ZTE has some big ambitions for the next few years, and that’s exactly what it has to do in order to move up the ranks.

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