ZTE, thus far, has succeeded with handsets mainly by selling through
operators around the world. Some of those phones are branded as ZTE,
while others sport the operators’ brands. Earlier this year, the market
research firm Gartner pegged ZTE as the world’s fourth largest handset
vendor, after Samsung, Nokia and Apple, based on handsets sold worldwide
ZTE is the fourth largest handset vendor in the world in 2012
Why Nubia now?
Asked why ZTE is launching Nubia now, Fei pointed out two reasons.
rapid proliferation of social media among consumers is turning the
smartphone into a must-have device for who fancies himself a
ZTE’s first attempt, in 2005, to move into the
business-to-consumer market — through its own ZTE brand — went nowhere.
But “the situation today is dramatically different,” Fei explained. A
smartphone like ZTE’s Z5, with a big emphasis on social media and
photography, will have a big impact, he added.
Second, driving ZTE’s Nubia is the Xiomi factor.
coming out of nowhere, “became famous in just two years,” said Fei.
Although ZTE sees the operator market as static and somewhat limited,
the company can’t afford to lose ground to a newcomer. Xiomi, which has
had zero presence in the operator market, is now talking about moving
into the b-to-b market, “which is our own backyard,” said Fei. “We need
to move into their backyard, namely, the b-to-c market.”
Z5, priced at 3,456 yuan (roughly $550), is a high-end smartphone
loaded with bells and whistles. But Nubia takes a pride in a few unique
features. One is built-in software geared toward heavy social media
users. Another is hardware designed for consumers hoping to take better
pictures with their smartphones.
Asked why Nubia is so focused
on social media, Fei said, “Social media is popular because everyone
wants to get recognized by others.” In essence, it’s human nature. He
added, “And for many of those users, getting recognized for their photos
may come easier than their words.”
Z5 is a five-inch 1080p
Android phone featuring Qualcomm's 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon apps
processor, along with a 13-megapixel F2.2 main camera. It features
five-element optics by Konica Minolta, in addition to separate touch
focus and touch exposure in the app, and a two-megapixel front-facing
camera. The “professional mode” of the smartphone camera function is
perfect for those who think they’ll become famous if they post a
great-looking photo on social media, according to Nubia.
The Z5 supports WiFi Display and MHL output, making it possible to beam content to a larger screen.
who holds the Z5 smartphone for the first time will notice how
lightweight it is. Only 7.6mm thick – one of the thinnest among
five-inch phones, the handset weighs only 126g -- including a 2,300mAh
battery. The screen comes with a bezel only 2.67mm thick.
Nubia's Z5 in the middle
through the use of laser-direct structuring, has all the antennas –
ranging from primary antenna, to WiFi/GPS, NFC and diversity antennas --
on the back cover of the handset.
Integrated with Qualcomm's
modem module, the Chinese edition of the Z5 supports both CDMA2000
(800MHz, for China Telecom) and WCDMA (2100MHz, for China Unicom); and
when Nubia eventually launches it worldwide, it will be capable of
supporting LTE as well.