The ZTE Skate -- spiritual successor to the Blade and current flagship -- is pushing on with its global roll-out and it looks like it may reach the US. Now on sale in Hong Kong, Brazil and Spain, the Skate is rolling down the French Alps and into France and the UK, where the Orange-branded Monte Carlo (a Skate in phone network clothing) is already available. With a different ZTE device set to arrive on Cricket soon, the electronics giant also intends to bring this 4.3-inch phone to the US in the near future, though there's nothing concrete on dates and prices just yet. According to ZTE's executive VP He Shiyou, the company is set to launch "a total of 30 smartphone models" by the end of the year. We fear the company may run out of flat-shaped names before the end of November. Head on over to our Chinese site for some hands-on shots.

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ZTE Officially Launches Skate 4.3-Inch Smartphone Globally

SHENZHEN, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ZTE Corporation ("ZTE") (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, announced today it has completed the first phase of the global rollout of its new flagship smartphone, the Skate, in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong rollout is the first Skate launch in Asia-Pacific.

The competitively priced Skate is a slim 11.35 mm thick, has a large 4.3 inch TFT (thin film transistor) capacitive display with a resolution of 480 x 800 and weighs just 148g. Its design style is inspired by the skateboard and it runs on Android 2.3. The Skate provides a user-friendly interface with practical and powerful multimedia capabilities.

The Skate was first launched Sept. 12 in Brazil in partnership with Brazilian operator Vivo. It was later launched in Spain on Sept. 16, as part of Madrid Fashion week, in association with local operator Telefonica. The global rollout of the Skate will continue this year in European countries including the U.K. and France, in Asian countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and China, and in the United States.

"We at ZTE are extremely enthusiastic about the global launch of the Skate smartphone," said ZTE Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminal Division He Shiyou. "The Skate is a building block upon the success of our Blade model and is an important step forward for ZTE's entry into the middle-to-high end smartphone market."

"We are committed to developing smartphone products and will launch a total of 30 smartphone models before the end of 2011," he added.

ZTE's strategic move into the smartphone market in 2011 has played a major part in the company achieving the No. 5 position among the world's handset manufacturers. Smart terminal products sales in the same period were 400 percent up on the first half of 2011, with U.S. sales up 300 percent.

The ZTE Skate is expected to build on the success of the ZTE Blade smartphone, which has been the company's flagship product for the last 12 months. Over three million Blade handsets have been sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. The Blade has recently become the biggest-selling Android smartphone in China, averaging more than 17,000 units per day.

About ZTE

ZTE is a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions with the most comprehensive product range covering virtually every sector of the wireline, wireless, service and terminals markets. The company delivers innovative, custom-made products and services to over 500 operators in more than 140 countries, helping them to meet the changing needs of their customers while achieving continued revenue growth. ZTE's 2010 revenue led the industry with a 21% increase to USD10.609 billion. ZTE commits 10 percent of its revenue to research and development and takes a leading role in a wide range of international bodies developing emerging telecoms standards. A company with sound corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, ZTE is a member of the UN Global Compact. ZTE is China's only listed telecom manufacturer, publicly traded on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ). For more information, please visit www.zte.com.cn.