ZTE looks to triple sales of smartphones

ZTE looks to triple sales of smartphones

Chinese maker debuts Blade V7 Lite model

Chinese handset maker ZTE is upbeat about tripling its smartphone sales this year in Thailand, a market dominated by Asian phone brands.

"We expect to sell 900,000 mobile phones in the Thai market this year, up from 300,000 in 2015," said Jeremy Zhao, chief executive for Southeast Asia at ZTE Corporation.

To achieve the target, ZTE has tripled its marketing budget for Thailand this year to elevate the brand profile.

The company has also doubled the number of dealers from last year's 1,000 in a drive to boost its presence in the provincial market.

"We expect to be in the top five recognised brands in Thailand this year if we can sell 900,000 handsets as targeted," Mr Zhao said.

ZTE has grabbed the No.6 spot by market share in Thailand.

Mr Zhao said Thailand is the most focused and important market in Southeast Asia for ZTE, due to its rapid smartphone adoption and active social media scene.

ZTE is boosting its presence in the mid-range to high-end smartphone markets to increase profit margin, he said.

ZTE entered the Thai market five years ago by producing handsets as an original equipment manufacturer for mobile operators.

The company launched its own brand in the Thai market in 2014.

Mr Zhao said this year's marketing budget in Thailand is the largest ever because the company wants to make consumers more aware of ZTE smartphone products. He did not elaborate on the budget amount.

The marketing investment will include activities online and in social or other digital media to create direct interactions with consumers.

ZTE has a different marketing strategy from rival Huawei, another Chinese handset maker that is in the top three recognised brands in Thailand, Mr Zhao said.

Huawei is focused on the high-end smartphone market, in which it competes directly with South Korean handset maker Samsung, which is No.1 in Thailand and globally.

ZTE will continue to focus on the middle-range market while still providing premium phones at affordable prices, Mr Zhao said.

ZTE yesterday rolled out its latest smartphone model in the Thai market, the Blade V7 Lite, a 4G-enabled LTE smartphone featuring dual SIM cards.

The Android device, powered by a 1.0GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, has 2GB of RAM and retails for 4,990 baht.

Thakolrat Keokarn, vice-president for device business at Advanced Info Service, said AIS customers can buy a Blade V7 Lite for 1,990 baht if they sign up for a 4G service package with AIS.

He said AIS expects the business collaboration with ZTE to help attract more customers, especially students and office workers.

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