ZTE Smartphone Sales to Double in 2012 on Market Share Gains

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- ZTE Corp., China’s second-largest maker of phone equipment, said sales of its smartphones will double this year as it gains market share in Europe, North America, Brazil and Japan.

Sales of the handsets that can be used to surf the Web, watch videos and play games rose fivefold to more than 12 million units last year, Shenzhen-based ZTE said in an e-mailed statement today.

ZTE said in November the U.S. will be its largest market for handsets and tablet computers by 2015, overtaking its home market in China. China accounted for about 35 percent of ZTE’s handset sales in the first nine months of 2011, while the U.S. made up about 10 percent, He Shiyou, ZTE executive vice president, said in November.

ZTE became the fourth-largest handset maker in the world in the third quarter as shipments rose 58 percent from a year earlier, research firm IDC said in October. ZTE took 4.9 percent of the global market, passing Apple Inc.’s 4.3 percent.

ZTE rose as much as 1.6 percent and was 0.4 percent higher at HK$24.50 as of 11:46 a.m. in trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The shares have dropped 4.7 percent in the past 12 months, less than the 20 percent decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index in the same period.