ZTE Hopes High-End Phones Will Increase Sales
ZTE today said it plans to push into the high-end smartphone market controlled by the likes of Apple, HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony. According to Reuters, sales of ZTE's mid-range and entry-level handsets are strong, but margins are too thin. The company wants to use high-end handsets to help increase its margins. "We will make more and more premium smartphones," said ZTE's Zeng Xuezong to Reuters. The company wants to trade its image as a low-cost phone maker for one that rivals the current market leaders. "There is indeed a gap between the brand awareness of Chinese companies and those top global brands, and this is what our team is trying to build for consumers" with handsets such as the Nubia Z5, said Zeng. ZTE believes it can increase is worldwide sales from 40 million units in 2013 to as much as 100 million units by 2016. In the U.S., it is seeking to raise its marketshare from 6% to 10% by 2017 with the help of premium devices and by spending more money on marketing. Most of the ZTE handsets available in the U.S. are entry-level devices sold by prepaid or low-cost carriers.
3GPP Approves Spec for Standalone 5G New Radio
The 3GPP today ratified another piece of the 5G specification, termed the Standalone 5G New Radio, or SA 5G NR. This spec is for 5G networks that are developed on their own, apart from legacy or pre-existing networks.
ZTE's Nubia Z9 Boasts Bezel-less Design, Hand Gestures
ZTE today announced the Nubia Z9, a flagship handset that will be sold in the U.S. The Z9's stand-out feature is the 5.2-inch full HD display, which doesn't have a bezel along the side edges.
AT&T-Run FirstNet More Generally Available to First Responders
AT&T today said fire, medical, police, and other first responders now have more access to its FirstNet network. FirstNet has been available for purchase by agencies, but hasn't been directly sold in stores.
Unicode 11 with Dozens of New Emoji Arrives June 5
New emoji are coming to a phone near you, eventually. Unicode 11.0, which was finalized in February, will be released on June 5, according to Emojipedia.