ZTE to unveil high-end smartphone at CES 2013

In addition to planning a high-end handset debut at CES, ZTE also announced it will invest $30 million in its U.S. market division.

ZTE Sprint Flash
With handsets like the Sprint Flash, ZTE's been trying its hand at the high-end mobile market. Josh Miller/CNET

According to IDG News Service, ZTE's global chief design director, Hagen Fendler, said that the Chinese phone company will announce a new high-end handset in January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Though ZTE is known for its low- to midlevel devices, Fendler said that CES will mark a new "design era" for the manufacturer.

Recent ZTE handsets, like the ZTE Warp Sequent and the Sprint Flash, have shown a deliberate change in direction for ZTE, toward better-quality devices. The former has a sturdy construction and a 4.3-inch touch screen, while the latter is eqiupped with a 4G LTE data connection and a 12-megapixel camera.

In addition, ZTE released a statement announcing that it will invest $30 million to expand its presence in the U.S. market.

Though the company has established some ties with major U.S. carriers, it will use the money in the areas of "integrating existing technologies, strengthening lab capabilities and other fundamental infrastructures, and building up the company's local capabilities to work closely with operators."

While I do believe that ZTE's recent handsets are the best ones I've ever seen from the company, the devices' mediocre performances prove that the company still has a long way to go.

Let's hope that by allocating more money to this market, ZTE will gain more traction in the next year to become a real mobile competitor in the U.S.

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