ZTE overtakes RIM to become fifth largest smartphone maker

CHINESE PHONE MAKER ZTE became the world's fifth largest smartphone vendor in the second quarter, it announced today, overtaking Research in Motion (RIM).

That's according to research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which shows that thanks to sales of eight million smartphones in the second quarter ZTE has slipped onto the top five list. RIM, which was fourth on the list in May, is now nowhere to be seen, as sales of the firm's Blackberry handsets continue to falter.

With eight millions smartphones shifted in the second quarter, ZTE's shipments increased 300 per cent compared to the second quarter last year, helping it snatch a 5.2 per cent share of the worldwide market and making it the fastest growing smartphone maker after Apple. This puts the firm just 0.5 per cent behind Android phone maker HTC and just 1.4 per cent behind Nokia.

"ZTE's great smartphone performance in 2012 in international markets has been a major contributor to our consistent expansion, and is a demonstration of the depth and strength of our R & D," said ZTE EVP and head of its Terminal Division He Shiyou.

"We have moved into the middle to high-end smartphone market with the recent launch of the ZTE Grand X in countries including China, Turkey and the UK, and we will continue to build our handset capabilities in the middle and high range sectors, while still delivering great lower-end smartphones like the ZTE Kis."

ZTE's market share could be set to grow in 2013, as the firm recently announced plans to bring out smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. µ

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