ZTE have updated us on their plans to launch their new Android smartphone - the 4.3-inch ZTE Skate - at a briefing session with Pocket-lint in London.
Wu Sa, Director of mobile device operations for ZTE (UK), confirmed that the ZTE Skate will be available in the UK in the “early” second half of 2011. Although dates are yet to be confirmed, some time around July might be good guess, or soon thereafter.
The ZTE Skate was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona back in February 2011 and will join the ZTE Blade, appearing as the Orange San Francisco in the UK, and their ZTE Light tablet to make up their Android portfolio this year. There are several versions of the ZTE Light, and as yet, it is not clear exactly what will be appearing in the UK.
ZTE confirmed that the ZTE Blade would continue to be sold, as the device has just launched in China and has been a great success for the company so far. ZTE emphasised that their strategy was to respond to market demand to continue smartphone growth in the UK and globally.
When pushed on whether the ZTE Skate would appear as a ZTE branded device, or reskinned by carriers (the Orange Scunthorpe perhaps?), Wu Sa seemed unable to confirm the exact position with carriers, saying that the situation remained “fluid”.
ZTE have been quite candid about their intentions to raise brand awareness in the UK, so are likely to be pushing the Skate to appear with their logo. Luson Lu, PR & Marketing Communications Director ZTE (UK), confirmed to Pocket-lint that growing the ZTE brand in the UK was a key objective for 2011.
ZTE did, however, confirm that they were in talks with all the tier one carriers in the UK - Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone and 3 - with strong interest in their Android devices.
So if you fancy getting your hands on some affordable 4.3-inch Gingerbread flavoured Android goodness, then hold your horses and wait till summer - if the price is right we can see this being a popular choice.
In the meantime we’ve snapped a gallery of the forthcoming device for your viewing pleasure. This version seems to have lost the funky Android back cover that we saw on it at MWC.