By Alexander Villafania
MANDALUYONG CITY, METRO MANILA—Having remained quiet for years, Chinese telco manufacturer ZTE is making its presence known again. This time, through its mobile phone division.
The company launched its mobile phone business in the Philippines with a batch of basic to mid-level mobile units and tablet computers. It has also tapped IT distributor MSI-ECS to penetrate the already flooded space for mobile phones.
Among the units that the company introduced included the Android-based Skate and Mimosa, and its tablet PC called Light Tab 2.
During a press conference, ZTE Philippines President James Chen said the mobile phone business in the Philippines continues to grow particularly among replacement and secondary phone markets.
Even with the presence of other China-made phones, Filipino buyers are aware of the need to shift their mobile phone use from basic phone and short messaging to multimedia functions, said Chen.
Such is the confidence of ZTE in the Philippines that plans are already underway to introduce more phones, including models running the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system.
“The Windows Phone-based “Tania” will be coming to the Philippines soon, along with other high-end Android units,” Chen added.
The Windows Phone-based ZTE Tania, first introduced in the China market this year is reported to be priced at around $315 (about P13,000).
MSI-ECS president and chief executive Jimmy Go hinted that plans to introduce other ZTE products in the Philippines are under talks. ZTE’s Chen responded, “we are about to close our discussion on that.”
ZTE’s entry into the mobile phone market in the Philippines has been long in coming especially after becoming involved in the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) project in 2008 where it was accused of bribing key government officials.
The NBN-ZTE project, as it was known that time, was eventually cancelled.
ZTE remained a service provider for telcos in the Philippines, streaming into the country a number of products such as broadband USB dongles, wireless routers, and telecommunications backbone equipment.
Not surprisingly, executives during the ZTE mobile phone press conference said that this particular issue in history is over abd it is “time to move on.”
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