Hot on the heels of the ZTE Axon 7 and a companion VR headset, the Chinese-based company has announced that they’ll be expanding into retail stores in a handful of countries. That news actually sounds a little better than it really is, because out of 23 stores, 20 will be based in Chinese cities with 1 each in Germany, Russia, and Mexico.
While ZTE hasn’t really announced much about what they hope to accomplish with the stores, I can imagine they’ll be fairly similar to an Apple or Microsoft store with the company’s products, accessories, and other products plastered everywhere. They’re targeting 70 million phone shipments this year from 56 million last year, so retail stores sort of make sense to achieve that goal. Retail is an extremely competitive space, however, and while ZTE is hardly a small OEM, I doubt they have the brand recognition of Apple or Samsung to pull this off. Then again, maybe these ZTE stores will help them achieve that ubiquitous brand image.
However it ends up, it’ll be interesting to watch.