ZTE Aims For Apple, Samsung With Lofty 2012 Smartphone Sales Goal

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ZTE isn’t a name we hear a lot over in the States, but the company plans to change all that. Head of mobile strategy Ryu Chienhao claims that ZTE plans on selling 35 million smartphones this year, with hopes to become the number 3 smartphone and mobile phone vendor in the world by 2015.

Last year, the company shipped 15 million smartphones with a heavy focus on Asia. To reach 35 million, ZTE will not only need to expand outside of China but also build more premium products to compete in the U.S. mobile landscape. The forthcoming “Grand” series should help with that, though the recently announced Grand X LTE is only headed to Europe and Asia Pacific.

IDC research pegs ZTE as No. 4 in general mobile phone sales (which includes smartphones), giving the company a 4.8 percent marketshare with 19.8 million mobile phones shipped in Q1 2012.

To give you a little context, Apple sold 17.7 million iPhones between Sept. 25 and Dec. 1, 2011. And Samsung, who has more than a few hot-selling flagships, expects that its Samsung Galaxy S III will hit 10 million sales by July. Clearly, competition is stiff between the number 1 and number 2 smartphone vendors here in the States, so ZTE has quite a bit of work cut out.

At the same time, the mobile landscape is ever-changing, and another mobile powerhouse is more than welcome into the ring.