Chinese telecommunications giant and mobile phone manufacturer ZTE Corp. quadrupled its sales of handsets in the U.S. in the first half of 2011, the company announced Aug. 10.
The Shenzhen, China-based company underscored partnerships with major carriers as the primary growth driver in the American market.
The Atlanta office of ZTE USA Inc. works closely to develop products with AT&T‘s mobile phone unit, which is based in Atlanta.
ZTE officials have said the bond with AT&T was a key factor in deciding to expand their Atlanta operation. The company leased an 8,800-square-foot space in Buckhead in June, more than doubling the size of its previous space. From windows in its conference room and corner offices, ZTE leaders and engineers can peer out at the AT&T building where they spend much of their time.
Despite being world’s No. 5 handset maker, ZTE still has only a tiny slice of the U.S. handset market.
The company’s Android-based smartphones, such as the ZTE Blade, have made inroads in China, Europe and Latin America. Five million Blades were sold worldwide from January to June. The phone is available in 50 countries but hasn’t yet come to the U.S.
Plans call for ZTE to introduce 30 new smartphone models globally during the last six months of 2011. Lixin Cheng, ZTE USA’s chief executive, told GlobalAtlanta in June that the company hopes to bring its first branded smartphone to the U.S. later this year.