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ZTE to ship some of the first Tegra 4 phones by mid-2013

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 20, 2013
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When NVIDIA unveiled the Tegra 4 last month, there were questions as to when it would ship in a phone, or whether it was bound for phones in the first place. ZTE has settled that question with plans to be the first company shipping Tegra 4-packing smartphones. The Chinese phone builder won't spoil the surprise by naming the devices in question, but the first models reach China by mid-2013. An LTE "super phone" is in the pipeline, ZTE says. With that fresh ground broken, we're mostly left wondering how likely it is that these devices will cross the Pacific -- as well as guessing which other companies are lined up for NVIDIA's fourth-generation silicon.

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ZTE and NVIDIA Partner To Launch First Tegra 4 Super Phones

New Devices to Feature 72 Custom GPU Cores, Quad-Core Cortex-A15 CPU, Icera i500 LTE Chipset for High Performance, Power Efficiency, Fast 4G Networking

20 February 2013, Shenzhen, China – ZTE Corporation ("ZTE"), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices has announced that it is partnering with NVIDIA to deliver the first super phones powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra® 4 mobile processor, with the first models to reach the market before mid-year.

ZTE has a long-term strategic partnership with NVIDIA and expects to launch the first Tegra 4 super phones in China in the first half of 2013. The Tegra 4 processor was only announced by NVIDIA in January, at the CES 2013 exhibition in Las Vegas.

"This is a clear demonstration of ZTE's ability to quickly develop, and bring to market, market-leading devices running the industry's latest technologies," said Mr. He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and Head of the Terminal Division.

The NVIDIA Tegra 4 will enable the ZTE devices to deliver ultra-fast web browsing, improved app load times, more realistic gaming experiences and great battery life – thanks to the processor's 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce® cores and quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU. Tegra 4 also enables worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support through an optional chipset, the NVIDIA i500 processor. ZTE and NVIDIA are also planning a new LTE super phone using the i500 LTE chipset for blazing-fast networking.

These new devices build on ZTE and NVIDIA's success with previous smartphones such as the Grand X, the first smartphone powered by both the Tegra processor and NVIDIA's Icera modem; the Grand Era super phone with Tegra 3; and the U950, the first premium quad-core smartphone with Tegra 3 priced below $160 USD.

"We're proud to continue our pioneering partnership with NVIDIA and are looking forward to offering more Tegra-powered devices, which are defining a new generation of phones offering premium mobile computing experiences," said Mr. He. "Our Tegra 4 smartphones will provide full HD entertainment and multimedia experiences that consumers will love."

"ZTE's newest super phones will show off Tegra 4's processing power, efficiency and unprecedented capabilities," said Phil Carmack, Senior Vice President of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. "They're a great example of what the market expects from one of the world's largest phone makers."

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