Jobs' quit will provide more opportunities for ZTE

Executive vice-president says firm plans 'more active role' in market 

BEIJING - ZTE Corp, China's second-biggest telephone equipment maker, plans to seek a "more active" role in the smartphone market as the resignation of Apple Inc Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs creates opportunities for rivals. 

"We are very thankful to Steve Jobs' contribution to the smartphone and mobile broadband industry," Xie Daxiong, ZTE's executive vice-president, said in an e-mail on Thursday. "With innovation (and) spirit, ZTE will play a more active role in the communication, smart terminal and mobile broadband industry, and build more value for consumers around the world." 

Jobs was a "core" product manager at Apple and his departure will create long-term opportunities for rival suppliers, according to Sun Peilin of Analysys International in Beijing. Jobs' resignation comes at a time when China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, the largest seller of iPhones outside the United States, is seeking to diversify away from the iPhone with lower-priced handsets, including ZTE's V880, to reduce subsidy costs. 

Unicom is currently the only carrier in the world's largest mobile-phone market that offers the iPhone with a service contract. Unicom has the largest number of iPhone users in the world outside the United States, said Chairman Chang Xiaobing on Wednesday, without saying how many of the company's 23.95 million third-generation (3G) network subscribers use the device.

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