ZTE BOUNCES BACK AT IFA WITH AGSHIP AXON 9

New phone offers TV quality images in a mobile device

The chinese manufacturer is set to seize the 5G initiative with a product range that includes mobile, tablet and CPE devices.

ZTE is using IFA to launch its new flagship phone, the Axon 9, and also underline its credentials in 5G technology. The top of the range Axon 9 Pro is waterproof, has a 6.21-inch screen, impressive storage and a high resolution camera.

“But the real differentiator,” said Jeff Yee, VP product marketing and strategy department at ZTE Global Mobile Devices, “is a tech called Axon Vision which effectively puts TV tech inside a phone for the first time outside China. It’s like having 4K HDR TV in a mobile. It uses a secondary chip to enhance colours and smooth out video and games.”

The phone is launching in Germany before rolling out across the rest of Europe and Asia. Like previous ZTE devices, it sits in a bracket that Yee calls “affordable premium”.

“It’s a very well-specified phone that comes in at a lower price than competitors like Apple and Samsung,” Yee told IFA International.

In terms of marketing, the company has traditionally looked towards platforms like sports sponsorship but Yee expects more emphasis on influencers.

The Axon 9 is ZTE’s first single screen phone upgrade for two years. Last year, the company focused instead on the Axon M, a phone that folded in half. Yee said this line of development is also important to ZTE as the mobile market prepares for the arrival of large flexible screens.

On the 5G front, ZTE showcased a phone and a tablet as well as indoor and outdoor CPE (customer- premises equipment) devices. ZTE has invested heavily in 5G over the last decade and expects the market to gain momentum in 2019.

“5G is a great opportunity for us to launch new products and gain new market share,” said Yee. “It will create competition for anyone who currently owns the last mile into the home. We are already leaders in 5G and we know the network requirements of most major carriers around the world, so can expand aggressively.”

2018 has been a challenging year for ZTE in the US, after a run in with regulators. However Yee said things are now back on track: “As of July 13, we settled with the US government and are now in the process of rebuilding trust with customers and partners. The good news is that our CEO has just said he expects us to be profitable again in Q3. What happened in the US won’t happen again because we are focusing very heavily on ensuring compliance throughout the organisation”.

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