Chinese tech major ZTE has big plans for the Indian market in the year 2017. The company which showcased its product lineup in BRICS 2016 in New Delhi is gearing up to introduce a plethora of new smartphones in the first quarter of 2017. These Android smartphones will be priced in the budget price-point and will take on the likes of Lenovo (K Series), Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei and affordable handsets from Indian smartphone makers.
As per our conversation with Sachin Batra, Chief Marketing Officer, ZTE India, the company is planning to launch a total of 8 new smartphones in the first quarter of 2017. These smartphones will be priced below Rs. 15,000 and will focus on battery backup and camera performance, the two most important features consumers look for while buying a smartphone. While the company did not share any details on the series and model number of the handsets, we believe the product lineup will include handsets from Blade, ZMax and Axon Max series.
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To differentiate the products from the lot and to add value to customers, ZTE smartphones will also come bundled with data benefits from a leading mobile operator. While users will be able to access Reliance Jio services on ZTE's VoLTE enabled handsets, some additional voice and data benefits in the package will help the company gain the market share in the Indian market. The company did not share any details on the bundled voice and data benefits to be offered with the upcoming ZTE smartphones.
On being asked how the company plans to sell the handsets in the Indian market, ZTE said that it will follow a hybrid model. The company's products will be available through e-commerce portals and Hotspot retail stores across the country, which will give consumers a chance to experience the mobile devices before making a final purchase.
Besides, the Chinese tech major is not just limiting its reach to smartphones. ZTE also plans to introduce the company's smart home solutions that comprises of a suite of products for home entertainment, visual communication, home monitoring, family album, smart projectors and home network-attached storage (NAS). ZTE's smart home solution works on an Android app to control Wi-Fi enabled appliances to create a connected home. ZTE mentioned that the smart home solutions are lined for an early Q2 launch in 2017.
Moreover, ZTE might also introduce its smart wearables - Grand Band 3, Spring Band and ZTE D1 Smart Watch. ZTE D1 Smartwatch works on Android Wear. And not to forget the ZTE VR, which is the first headset to be compatible with the Google Daydream VR platform. The ZTE VR has built in 9-axis gyroscope and sensors to enhance motion tracking and minimize dizziness.
We also asked company about its ambitious crowd-sourced mobile product - the Project CSX, which is based upon customers' ideas and is scheduled for the second half of 2017 in China. ZTE has selected the first product idea from more than 400 submissions in total, and is ready to come up with a concept design. However it's too early to say anything on the project, which might not touch the Indian soil until the third quarter of 2018.
Last but not the least, ZTE is also planning to foray into 'Make in India' initiative in the year 2017 as the company plans to manufacture mobile devices in India.