As we had mentioned a few days ago, ZTE has from poco embarked on a journey through Europe, called precisely ZTE Tour, which is touching some Italian cities, that is Torino, Roma e Milano.
On the occasion of the first Turin date, held yesterday 23 March, we got to ask a few questions a Gianluca Cotroneo, account manager of ZTE Italia, who kindly provided us with the following interview.
GizChina interviews Gianluca Cotroneo of ZTE
Chalk: With the beginning of 2016 we saw the arrival on the European market of the new ZTE Axon Mini and Axon Elite, which are however confined only to the online market: you could tell our possibly interested users where it is possible to purchase these devices ? GC: First of all, that of the online market is a temporary choice for now. As for the Axon Elite, it is available in an international version on eBay through the profile managed by ZTE International. As for the Axon Mini, there is the same type of channel, but on Aliexpress, always in the international version and shipped from Italy, therefore without any problem of customs duties.
And speaking of Axon Mini, we are trying to include it in the large Italian distribution through physical retail, even if there is still nothing definitive.
Chalk: Staying on the Axon theme, this series was presented at the Mobile World Congress 2016, however we know it was introduced in Asia during 2015. Lately there has been talk of a possible new high-end device, with Snapdragon 820 and 4 GB of RAM, or a possible Axon 2. This time gap will also be maintained for the new generation of the Axon series, or do you plan to align the releases in the various countries? GC: The idea is certainly to align the launch internationally with Italy as well. The ZTE Axon presented during 2015 was initially created only for the United States, while the one presented at the MWC is a European product. Obviously the new Axon will have as its main feature that of being launched internationally more or less simultaneously.
Chalk: ZTE produces a large number of terminals every year, last year alone there were about 70, many of them destined for the Asian market. Why this market split? I'm thinking of a ZTE Axon Lux, or a Nubia Z9, top of the range terminals with very interesting features. Don't you think that they could have a strong appeal also in our territory or do you think that that market segment is already occupied by other companies with which it would be difficult to compete? GC: We must consider that the devices you have just mentioned are launched on markets where ZTE is already known. In terms of sales in the United States we are fourth, immediately after Samsung, Apple and LG, while in Asia we clearly have greater visibility, being the company of Chinese origin, and in this case going to insert high-end products is easier. We have been present in Europe since poco on the physical smartphone market, consequently it seems more right to focus on medium / low, medium or medium / high-end devices, such as the Axon Mini, and thus begin to make the brand known.
Chalk: In this regard, I have to ask: what is your trump card? What can be a feature that differentiates ZTE compared to other companies?
GC: We are aware that in recent years the competition in the smartphone field has become stronger and stronger. What we produce and supply to the final customer is certainly a very reliable product, looking for the combination of the latest technologies available and a price within the reach of many. Suffice it to see Axon Mini, a mid-range device that integrates a technology like that of the Pressure Touch present on board very few high-end devices with much higher prices.
Chalk: Returning to the speech related to MWC 2016, in addition to the various smartphones we have had the opportunity to see other devices such as the ZTE Axon Watch. Are you going to focus on the wearable field or was the Axon Watch an experiment to probe the market?
GC: Yes, that's right, we can say it was an experiment. The Axon Watch will not be launched on the Italian market, and in the coming months there will be no news from the wearable point of view in Italy. It is a particular sector where yes, we have our products, but we are not yet sure we want to be part of it. Initially we would prefer to make ourselves known mainly as a smartphone brand, and then eventually expand into other sectors of the market.
Chalk: Among the various questions we have received from users, many have asked us about Nubia, a brand that is always much discussed on the net. At the beginning of the year there was talk of the alleged Nubia Z11 and X8, of a possible presentation that should have taken place last February, which however never took place. Are there any actual plans to bring these devices to market? Among other things, recently there has also been talk of a Z11 Mini ..
GC: We specify that, although belonging to ZTE, Nubia is managed independently by our Chinese colleagues. For the moment this brand is focused on the Asian and American markets, so any launch of Nubia that will take place in the future will be focused on these territories. Nothing prevents the situation from changing in the coming months, as we are aware that in Europe, although it has never entered officially, it is already recognized as a high-end brand. I can certainly tell you that in the coming months there will be important news in the Nubia area.
Chalk: Speaking of Europe, some time ago we saw the launch of the official website nubia.com, on which, in addition to the illustrative pages of the various devices, there is also a Shop section, which however is not yet active. Is there any news on any opening dates, and if it is possible to know if it will be available globally or only for certain markets?
GC: Look, I can not give you precise information about it yet. The idea is obviously to open it, but the company itself has not yet revealed if, when and which markets will be involved. I can only say that at the moment there are no relevant news, but as soon as the situation changes, we will promptly notify you.
Chalk: We have mentioned Nubia Z9, whose greatest peculiarity is undoubtedly the borderless type display, a technology that was partly taken up later by Samsung which, with the Edge family, reworked it, making it known to the general public. Is there the intention in the near future, both in Nubia and ZTE, to reuse the technology seen on the Z9, or are you also going to follow the trend dictated by Samsung?
GC: Considering that the development chain is the same for ZTE and Nubia, nothing prevents a technology adopted on a Nubia device from being implemented also on a ZTE device. That said, I do not rule out the possibility of the future production of a ZTE terminal with this feature, but at the moment there is no project on this for the next few months.