ZTE: “Consumers are at the heart of everything we imagine, create, and make”


Keeping in mind the growing opportunities in India, ZTE is positioning its flagship device – the Axon 7 in India. While delivering innovation – the company is putting customers at the heart of everything it creates.

Cao Kai, CEO, ZTE Terminal India speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s mantra to innovation and how it is looking at future of smartphones.

What are some of the big smartphone innovations that are likely to change the dynamics on customer experience of future?

Customer is continuously looking for improvement when it comes to smartphones such as audio, camera, display, battery, speed and overall build quality. The Axon 7 we recently launched in China, has addressed all of these key features, especially with our unparalleled sound quality from any scenario (listening, recording, talking).

We have included dual dedicated Hi-Fi chipsets along with symmetrical front facing stereo speakers, as well as Dolby Atmos 360 surround sound effect and smart PA technology to regulate the speaker sound quality.

Looking ahead, smartphone innovations in the future will also include the ability to integrate with mobile VR, and other upcoming technology such as LTE-A, VoLTE etc. The Axon 7 2k AMOLED display with stunning sound will give user a head start in experiencing great mobile VR and ZTE is amongst the first company to be Daydream ready with the Axon 7.


The pace at which smartphone penetration is increasing – its computing power and application handling capabilities are also getting enhanced with time. What according to you are the big drivers for mass acceptance of smartphones of future?

Every market has its own market dynamics. For the Indian market, there is still major growth opportunity to achieve a much higher smartphone penetration while more developed markets such as US, some part of Europe and APAC, and as well as China will see flat line to slight decrease in YoY smartphone penetration.

For the Indian market, the big drivers for mass acceptance of smartphone in the future will still be driven by feature phone to smartphone upgrade, and also will highly be dependent on the 4G LTE network deployment for the country.

We believe once the 4G LTE coverage is widely available, it will help facilitate mass adoption of smartphone with 4G LTE capability. Price is also a key factor for smartphone especially for the Indian market.

ZTE has a wide range of devices under our mass market premium Blade series as well as our flagship Axon to offer consumer around the world with a wide selection of smartphones to choose from.

If we look back – there were many smartphones made of plastic – today it is all about glass and metal. What is your opinion on the materials which can be used to make smartphones of future?

We do believe that an all metal phone with an original design language will appeal to consumer as the most premium device, along with glass made smartphone.

There are already many different types of material used today for smartphones. One should focus more on the design language, material matching and other aspects to achieve the best ergonomically device for consumer.

What are some of your innovations on these directions? How are you as a brand working towards delivering the best quality to your customers?

Consumers are at the heart of everything we imagine, create, and make here at ZTE. Delivering the best quality and experience is our number 1 priority. Axon 7 is a perfect example of ZTE showcasing a premium flagship level product for the consumer that has all of the great features with a good price

How important is the design element while performing the R&D on smartphones today? Please share your design roadmap for the coming year?

R&D is absolutely critical on smartphones these days. ZTE has a very strong R&D organization and we have ranked inside the top 3 for patent filings according to WIPO for the past 6 years (2010 to 2015). We are the only company that has achieved this recognition among all brands globally.

Design element is also very important, and ZTE has kept its design language of the smartphone very original. We strong believe in originality or so called original design concept, and we have actually teamed up with Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW Group for the design of Axon 7, and we couldn’t be more proud with the results. The Axon7 is a stunning good looking design with its own design language and philosophy.

How can design create big market differentiations?

Markets today are flooding with all kinds of smartphones. We believe that the design of the phone has to be uniquely different to be able to stand out from the crowd, and we have done exactly that with the Axon7.

As we are moving towards an IoT era – experts say that future smartphones will be a powerhouse of sensors that will instantaneously speak with multiple set of devices and perform critical tasks for users. Please share your thoughts on this?

We believe that smartphone will continue to be the most important device of all devices in the near future, and it will serve as the gateway to the IoT world where many things are interconnected.

Phones today already have many sensors and other intelligent application, and we should expect to see more innovation in this area in the future.