China aims for bigger slice of smartphone market


Sony kicked off its Mobile World Congress campaign this year with three new smartphone models alongside a Bluetooth earpiece and a host of smart home products and wearables.

In the coming years, analysts forecast these cheap Android phones, which have already taken China by storm, will likely attract more budget-conscious customers in Europe and even in Samsung’s and Apple’s home markets of South Korea and the United States.

“So we are seeing the impact of the Chinese manufacturers here at Mobile World Congress,” said Nicole Scott, editor of mobile technology website, Mobilegeeks.

“Everybody is launching a mid-range phone, because it is all about pricing. And we are definitely seeing that at the Sony launch, with the launch of the Xperia X, which is a mid-range phone. But Sony is doing it with their own style, it looks good, everything feels high-end, but the specifications are quite budget. And that is definitely in competition to what we see from the Chinese manufacturers.”

ZTE is one of these Chinese manufacturers. At the congress in Barcelona, it launched the latest versions of its popular Blade series, the Blade V7 and Blade V7 Lite. Both devices are equipped with front and rear cameras and Smart Sense gesture control. Aimed at younger buyers, they are due to hit selected markets later this year, starting at 250 euros.

“We hope that in the next three to five years, ZTE will be among the top three smartphone vendors on selected markets,” said Adam Zeng, Chief Executive Officer of ZTE Mobile Devices.

The Vibe k5 Plus is the latest offering by Beijing-based company Lenovo, which is fighting for its share in the affordable smartphone segment. Starting at 135 euros, it includes a solid rear and front camera combo, as well as a decent sized battery and dual rear speakers that offer flawless sound.

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