Menu
ZTE finds Firefox OS faring better in emerging markets than the US

ZTE finds Firefox OS faring better in emerging markets than the US

ZTE will continue backing Firefox OS as part of a plan to offer multiple mobile OSes to smartphone customers

ZTE has found that smartphones with the Firefox OS are doing well in developing countries but not in the U.S., where the company is taking a multipronged mobile OS approach.

ZTE started selling its Open smartphones with Firefox OS in the U.S. and other countries last year, mostly through eBay. The devices are targeted at first-time smartphone users and have largely been priced under US$100. But ZTE's latest Open C with Firefox, which went on sale in May, isn't being sold by the company through its U.S. eBay site anymore.

"Firefox [OS] -- it's well accepted in some emerging markets but not much in the U.S," said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA.

More developers are needed to write applications for the mobile Firefox OS to improve the experience of users, Cheng said.

"It's really about the ecosystem, it's really about what you can do with the phone, rather than OS," Cheng said.

ZTE made its mark selling affordable smartphones worldwide and its U.S. market share is growing. The company in recent months started shipping new Android smartphones in the U.S. The most notable was the ZMAX smartphone, which has a 5.7-inch screen and is sold through T-Mobile for $252 without a contract or installment plan. The handset is a low-cost competitor to Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus.

ZTE wants to continue offering customers choices in devices and OSes, and will continue to support the Firefox OS. ZTE would even consider offering phones with Apple's iOS, if it were ever opened to other smartphone makers, Cheng said.

Beyond smartphones, ZTE also makes networking and telecom equipment. For example, ZTE's technology is used in building the Gogo in-flight Internet service. ZTE hopes it smartphones will piggyback on its telecom infrastructure to provide better mobile services.

"We understand ... how you better allocate resources between the devices, the power and also the core network," Cheng said.

While Apple and Samsung are household names, ZTE is still building brand recognition. The company announced Monday that it would be the official smartphone provider for the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors basketball teams. It had announced a similar deal with the Houston Rockets basketball team last year.

ZTE and Huawei have been sources of infrastructure security concerns for the U.S. government, but Cheng said ZTE is publicly traded in China and Hong Kong with a transparent ownership and governance structure. The company is accountable to its shareholders, like any publicly traded company in the U.S.

So while the U.S. government may not be a major client, ZTE is working with telecom companies and sees a big opportunity to reach consumers with "affordable, premium" smartphones, Cheng said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesconsumer electronicsZTE

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments