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Chinese brands aim high at Barcelona fair (2)

By Zhu Shenshen (Shanghai Daily)

09:52, March 01, 2013

Connected devices

Lenovo overtook Hewlett-Packard to become the world's No. 3 smart connected device vendor in 2012, largely because of its smartphones, according to research company International Data Corp.

IDC said "smart connected devices" referred to smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and desktop computers.

ZTE, which sold 65 million phones in 2012 and ranked fourth in the global market, is predicting it will be among the top three players by 2015.

"But we still face big pressure in promoting models costing more than 2,000 yuan," said Ma Wenlong, ZTE's handset business brand director.

Most flagship models from Chinese makers cost less than 3,000 yuan each, while those from popular overseas models cost more than 4,000 yuan, analysts said.

"Even with the best hardware, domestic brands are not able to price products above 3,000 yuan, like Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy models," said Wang.

One ace up the sleeves of Chinese domestic phone makers is the nation's homegrown 4G technology.

China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile carrier with 700 million users, announced on Tuesday that it would push the commercialization of the TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution) network, which is based on 4G technology.

China Mobile said it will provide trial 4G services in 100 cities and purchase 1 million 4G phones - a clear signal that the 4G market is about to rev up.

Chinese brands, including ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo, are expected to benefit from the 4G wave, thanks to their close relationship with China's telecommunications carriers.

"TD-LTE market will be a spotlight of the domestic handset market in 2013, with nice profit margins for players," said Wang.

In Shanghai, 4G handsets will debut as early as April when the city starts commercial trials of the service.

All the 4G models will provide Internet access five to 10 times faster than 3G phones.

Apple, as usual, was a no-show in Barcelona.

Taking advantage of Apple's absence, Samsung didn't use the event to launch major products, such as the Galaxy S4.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Zhang Qian)

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