ZTE to launch Windows Phone system handset

Updated: 2012-06-09 09:27

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

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ZTE to launch Windows Phone system handset

Visitors inspect ZTE Corp smartphones on display at the company's booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb 28. The company has become the first Chinese supplier to launch a Windows Phone handset in China. [Photo / Agencies] 

ZTE Corp, the world's fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer, has become the first Chinese supplier to launch a Windows Phone handset in China.

The company, with targets to sell more than 30 million smartphones this year, expects its devices running on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system to account for about 10 percent of its total business this year, ZTE Executive Vice-President He Shiyou said on Friday.

"The market share of Android-based phones has almost hit its peak, while the Windows devices have been gaining momentum since the fourth quarter of last year," he said, adding the move is part of ZTE's overall plan to diversify its product portfolio.

The ZTE V965W, which debuted in the United Kingdom as "ZTE Tania" in February this year, hits the Chinese market this month, but the company is yet to reveal prices.

The 4.3-inch handset is based on the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system and has a 1.4 GHz processor.

ZTE is a massive player in the market. It sold 19.5 million mobile phones in the first quarter of this year, taking 4.8 percent of the global market, making it the world's fourth-biggest mobile maker.

Since Windows Phone 7.5, the latest version of Windows Phone operating system, was introduced in China on March 21, six handsets (including ZTE V965W) based on the system have been launched in China.Besides ZTE, HTC Corp and Nokia Corp have already cooperated with Microsoft to release Windows handsets in the country.

"The Windows devices have been given a warm welcome in the Chinese market since March," added Tommy Wen, vice-president of Microsoft China Co Ltd, at the same launch on Friday.

And he expects more mobile phone brands, including Samsung, to provide Chinese users with Windows Phone handsets in the second half of this year.

Microsoft is currently discussing the possibility of creating an alliance with the world's biggest WCDMA network operator, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, to collectively promote Windows Phone devices, Wen said.

Industry figures show there were around 85,000 applications for Windows Phone devices by April, 5,000 of which were available in Chinese.

In comparison, there were 550,000 applications for Apple Inc's iPhones by February, and around 400,000 for Android-based handsets in the same period.

A recent report by International Data Corp predicts Windows Phone will pass Apple's iOS' smartphone market share by 2016 to become the second most-used mobile operating system, behind Google Inc's Android.

The report added that Windows Phone growth will be boosted by Nokia's strength in emerging markets, and give Windows Phone a 19.2 percent share of the market by 2016, while Apple's iOS' share is expected to drop to 19 percent.