ZTE-branded smart phones coming to UK soon

ZTE will soon bring its smart phones to the glorious shores of Blighty with its own name plastered on the cases, instead of another company's, in a bid to secure more of our filthy lucre.

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Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
2 min read

ZTE will soon bring its smart phones to the glorious shores of Blighty with its own name plastered on the cases, instead of another company's.

Like many Brits, you may not have heard of ZTE before. That's because the Chinese firm has hitherto made budget smart phones for other companies, which slap their own branding on the blowers, before selling them on the cheap. Orange's San FranciscoBoston and Monte Carlo smart phones, for example, are all ZTE products.

ZTE has now decided that it can get a bigger chunk of our cash if it sells phones with its own name on. To that end, it's teamed up with distribution company Brightpoint to push its shiny new SIM-free handsets into the grasping clutches of us British folk.

By releasing new handsets under its own name, ZTE expects to "become a household name synonymous with high-quality smart phones and tablets".

We know what you're thinking -- but don't write ZTE off in a fit of ROFLs and LMAOs just yet. HTC also switched from making phones for other companies to releasing handsets under its own brand, and it's done bleedin' well for itself over the past few years, blowing our tiny minds with handsets such as the Sensation. Evidently, HTC's success has inspired ZTE to follow in its footsteps.

Still, ZTE may face a struggle to convert consumers to its brand, what with so many more-established names crowding the market. It may also prove a risky move for ZTE to sell its handsets SIM-free, as many Brits are used to getting budget phones for nowt on contracts from their network providers.

If ZTE chooses to go down the high-end smart-phone route, it will have to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung, and we think it'll have a hard time stealing any market share from those tech giants, unless it releases something pant-wettingly good.

Time will tell how ZTE fares in the cut-throat world of smart phones. Keep it CNET UK for news and reviews of the company's upcoming handsets.