ZTE teases 6-inch Android device and Firefox OS smartphone

The company struggled last year, but is hoping the new devices will help turn around its fortunes

ZTE plans to unveil a range of "high-performance smartphones" in Barcelona next week, including the Grand Memo II LTE with a 6-inch screen.

This year's Mobile World Congress will be very important for the Chinese company's device unit, which is facing challenges. Last year, ZTE sold 59.9 million phones, down from 67.3 million in 2012, even as local competitors such as Huawei Technologies and Lenovo increased their sales, according to market research company Gartner. Although ZTE shipped more phones than Huawei and Lenovo, these competitors sold more smartphones.

The company needs to turn around its ailing fortunes, and Mobile World Congress is the best place to start. Besides launching two new devices - the Grand Memo II LTE and the Firefox OS-based ZTE Open C, it will also introduce a new version of MiFavor, the user interface it adds on top of Android, ZTE said Tuesday.

For now, the company isn't announcing any details other than that the Grand Memo II will have a 6-inch screen and the ZTE Open C will run version 1.3 of Firefox OS, which will be launched in partnership with Mozilla and Telefónica.

Smartphones with large screens will again be one of the key trends in devices on display at Mobile World Congress. LG Electronics last week announced the G Pro II, which runs Android 4.4, has a 5.9-inch Full HD screen and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.26 GHz.

That ZTE still likes Firefox OS is good news for the fledgling operating system. Around 390,000 Firefox OS phones shipped last year, according to IDC, a figure it expects to rise to 2.5 million this year. That will give Firefox OS a 0.2 percent share of the total smartphone market, IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo recently said via email.

That isn't very impressive, but is still better than competing new OSes such as Tizen and Ubuntu, which aren't even running on commercial phones yet. However, for Firefox OS to become a serious contender, it needs more brand awareness, wider distribution as well as products with improved hardware and software, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MWCAndroid OSconsumer electronicssmartphonesZTEAndroid

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?