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Phones 4U plans its own phones, built by ZTE

The mobile phone retailer Phones 4U is joining forces with ZTE to make own-branded phones later this year.

Not only is it launching its own network, but Phones 4U is planning to sell its own phones. The mobile phone retailer is joining forces with ZTE to make phones later this year.

Speaking to an internal magazine for ZTE employees (spotted by CCS Insight analyst Ben Woods), Phones 4U bosses let slip the plan. When asked if Phones 4U had considered launching own-branded phones, 4U boss Scott Hooton said, "We are planning it. Probably halfway through 2013."

Fellow 4U-fella John Whittle added, "We may do that in conjunction with ZTE."

ZTE is a Chinese manufacturer. Already a big player in the phone market, it has increased its profile from building phones for other people to become a rising name, mostly due to affordable Android phones. Impressively, in the last quarter of 2012, it was the fifth biggest selling phone-maker in the world.

The increase in public profile is set to continue. Phones 4U plans to sell more more and ZTE phones this year, across a wide range of phones from budget and mid-range all the way to high-end phones.

ZTE already makes own-branded phones for phone network Orange, such as the affordable Android-powered Orange San Francisco and Orange Monte Carlo.

As well as offering an alternative to the big Android names, ZTE is also planning to unveil the first Firefox phone this year, powered by Firefox OS software from Mozilla.

Phones 4U will launch its own mobile network in March, and will offer a 4G service later in the year too. Prices and full details will be revealed later.

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