Samsung, ZTE Show Off Smartphones at Mobile World Congress
BARCELONA, Spain — There’s no shortage of fancy hardware at this year’s Mobile World Congress as handset manufacturers compete for attention. Among the major players are Samsung—which showcased its Galaxy Grand, the ruggedized, dust- and water-resistant Xcover 2 smartphone, and the low-end Fame handset. Samsung has steadily encroached on Apple’s smartphone market dominance in the past year as the company’s overall sales continued to accelerate in the fourth quarter of 2012, totaling 64.5 million units, up 85.3 percent from the same period in 2011, according to Gartner. Samsung's mobile phone sales for the year totaled 384.6 million, of which 53.5 percent were smartphone sales—up from 28 percent in 2011. ZTE, struggling to break into a market that competitors like Samsung dominate, is going for broke with the Grand Memo, a monstrous smartphone/tablet device with a huge 5.7-inch display and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity. The device is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and runs Google’s Android Jelly Bean operating system. The company also showcased its LTE-equipped Grand S smartphone, which boasts a slightly smaller 5-inch touch-screen.