It’s safe to say that ZTE isn’t afraid to take risks. The smartphone maker, which was No. 5 in the world as of Q4, rose through the ranks on the back of lost-cost Android devices for emerging markets. But now the company hopes to bring more smartphones to the masses with its ZTE Open, one of the first handsets to run the Firefox OS. In our hands-on with the device at Mobile World Congress 2013, we said the Open breaks the barrier between the Web and apps with a dynamic search function.On the high end of the market, ZTE is one of the first companies to partner with Intel on its Atom Z2580 processor for phones, promising double the performance and three times the graphics muscle as Intel’s last chip. For now, though, ZTE is mostly known for its cheap Android phones sold through smaller carriers. And most of the ZTE phones available on Sprint and T-Mobile use carrier branding, like the Sprint Force.
Outlook: ZTE has a similar awareness problem to Huawei, but it should continue to gain momentum throughout 2013.