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ZTE launches new flagship as it eyes expansion plans

Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE launched its latest flagship handset Axon 40 Ultra on Monday, as the company aims to grab a bigger slice in the premium smartphone market amid intensifying competition from domestic rivals.

Ni Fei, senior vice-president of ZTE and president of mobile devices business for the company, said the shipment of terminal devices surpassed 100 million units last year, among which 50 percent were powered by self-developed chips, while the revenue from handsets surged nearly 40 percent year-on-year in 2021.

Ni estimated the total terminal product shipment will increase 50 percent on a yearly basis to 150 million units in 2022, and the shipment of smartphones is foreseen to rise 50 percent year-on-year. Its terminal business covers smartphones, Wi-Fi routers and set-top boxes.

The newly launched Axon 40 Ultra is equipped with a 6.8-inch flexible AMOLED display, which supports up to a 120 Hz refresh rate and 360 Hz touch sampling rate. It also comes with three 64-megapixel cameras and a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies and video calls.

Priced from 4,998 yuan ($742.7), the device aims to provide a professional shooting experience for users who love photography and creating videos. It also has a built-in 5,000 mAh battery that supports 80-watt fast charging.

Ni said the company plans to establish more than 10,000 retail sites this year. The revenue of ZTE’s consumer business stood at 25.73 billion yuan in 2021, up 59.2 percent year-on-year compared with the same period the previous year, with revenue from smartphones rising 40 percent.

Smartphone sales in China fell 14.1 percent year-on-year to 74.2 million units in the first quarter of 2022 according to the global market research firm International Data Corporation.

Domestic smartphone maker Oppo took the lead with a market shipment of 13.7 million units in the January-March period, accounting for a 18.5 percent market share, while Honor followed with 13.5 million units. Vivo came in third with 17.9 percent of the market in the period.

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