Sees smartphone sales rising to 12 mln from 3 mln
* Eyes growth in Europe and Americas
ORLANDO, Fla., March 23 (Reuters) - China's ZTE Corp (0763.HK) expects its global smartphone sales to increase to 12 million in 2011 from 3 million in 2010, according to a top executive of the company.
The four-fold increase in sales will be driven by the introduction of lower priced smartphones and the company's launch of its first U.S. smartphone in the second half of the year, Lixin Cheng, ZTE's President for North America, said.
"This year we'll help carriers to offer sub-$200 smartphones," said Cheng who would not disclose what service providers would need to pay for such devices. The typical price for advanced phones is $200 in the U.S. market.
The executive said that he expects to cut prices further as volumes rise but would not give a timeframe.
"I'm confident that when we work with more and more carriers we'll be able to help them offer $100 smartphones to consumer," Cheng said. ZTE smartphones run on Android cellphone software from Google Inc (GOOG.O).
The growth this year will come primarily from Europe, North America and Latin America, according to Cheng, who would not disclose growth targets within these regions.
ZTE, a relatively new handset provider in the United States, sold its first phone model there in 2008 through regional provider MetropCS Communications (PCS.N).