ZTE To Preview 6-inch Android and New Firefox OS Smartphone at Mobile World Congress
Chinese smartphone maker, ZTE Corp. (OTC: ZTCOY), as expected, will unveil a plethora of new and updated devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb 24, according to a company press release.
First, there will be the Grand Memo 2 LTE, a follow-up to a device launched at last year’s Mobile World Congress. The Grand Memo 2 LTE will sport a full 6-inch screen, compared with the previous one at 5.7-inches.
Also added will be 4G LTE connectivity. What was not certain, according to Digital Trends, was whether ZTE would bump the new “phablet” up to 1080p from its current 720p resolution.
In addition to the Grand Memo 2, ZTE said it would unveil a new Firefox OS phone, the Open C. The device would run on version 1.3 of Mozilla’s mobile operating system. This would actually be ZTE’s second venture into a Firefox OS phone. The ZTE Open arrived in 2013 and CNET described it as “cheap, pretty,” and “woefully underpowered” – not exactly a flaming endorsement.
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The ZTE press release indicated the company would showcase other products as well, including the Grand S II flagship smartphone, the popular ZTE Blade series, and the Nubia series including the brand new Nubia 5S and Nubia 5S mini. According to ZTE, both the Nubia 5S and mini outsold all other phones including those from Apple, Samsung, and Nokia in December at online outlet, Jingdong.com.
Growing online sales may help explain the bravado expressed by ZTE, along with lesser-known fellow-Chinese smartphone makers, Huawei and Meizu at the CES in Las Vegas recently.
In meetings at the CES, Barron’s came away with the clear impression ZTE and the others believed industry giants Samsung and Apple were vulnerable. According to Barron’s, “After real success in China, the troika believe their time on the global stage has come.”
That “time” includes more than smartphones. At the end of the ZTE press release, the company mentioned that it would also use Barcelona to show off its award-winning ZTE Projector Hotspot (a mini projector and Wi-Fi hotspot in one) and the ZTE Grand Watch Smart Watch.
The new ZTE smart watch, like the Firefox OS smartphone, is actually a retooled version of an earlier version. The original, unveiled at CES was called the Blue Watch. According to ZTE, the hardware has changed and the watch has been updated, Digital Trends said.
Finally, ZTE said, it would use the Mobile World Congress to introduce a new, updated version of MiFavor, its Android user interface.
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
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