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UK: ZTE announced the Grand X smartphone launch.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.

UK: ZTE announced the Grand X smartphone launch.

ZTE announced the UK launch of its Grand X smartphone, a device first debuted last month, with availability slated for the start of August 2012 from retailer Phones 4u and MVNO Virgin Media.

Stating that the device is targeted at the “mid-tier postpaid” market, the company said it is aimed at “cost conscious” younger buyers who still want a high-performing device. Grand X is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia processor, runs Android 4.0, and has a 4.3-inch qHD screen.

Virgin Media will offer the ZTE Grand X on prepay for £189.99. Phones 4u pricing and tariffs are yet to be confirmed.

At an event in London yesterday, ZTE identified France, Germany and the UK as key target markets for its smartphone push, stating that it intends offering products targeting specific market segments.

Chris Edwards, the company’s European marketing and business development director, said: “The key thing for ZTE is making sure we know who we are targeting in the market, and making sure we are building propositions around that.”

He also said that moving forward, the company will look to build on its R&D activities to bring to market products targeting a wider range of customer segments – its presence to date having been largely confined to low-end and mid-tier smartphones.

“That extension of the product range is going to bring in new specifications, higher specifications, we’re going to reach into the use of new technologies – LTE, NFC – and this is going to widen the reach of ZTE, and further reinforce both our capabilities and the value we can bring to the market,” Edwards continued.

In order to support its efforts, the executive also said that the ambitious Chinese company is set to spend heavily to build its brand.

“One of the key elements of making ZTE a success is going to be building our brand, and building end customer recognition. And I think you’ll see over the next six to twelve months a big investment in communication, both through our key partners to their customers, and direct to the target segments we’ve chosen for specific devices,” he observed.

However, so far ZTE appears to be struggling to get support from tier-one operators. Its earlier Tania (Windows Phone) and Kis (Android) smartphones are available in the UK from MVNO Virgin, for example, rather than one of the larger mobile players.

When announced last month, ZTE said Grand X is the first in its Grand series to be available outside of China, and that the portfolio will also include an LTE version of Grand X; the quad-core Grand Era, again in 3G and LTE versions; and an Intel-powered device.

At last month’s CommunicAsia event, the company said the Grand X LTE will be available “in Asia Pacific and Europe” in the third quarter of 2012. Unlike the 3G version, this is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor.

The Grand X was previewed at the GSMA Mobile World Congress earlier this year, using the Mimosa X name.


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