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ZTE sees over 40 percent rise in 2013 smartphone shipments

ZTE company logos are seen at an international software and information services exhibition in Nanjing, Jiangsu province September 6, 2012.
ZTE company logos are seen at an international software and information services exhibition in Nanjing, Jiangsu province September 6, 2012.

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's ZTE Corp, the world's fourth-biggest handset maker, expects to ship around 50 million smartphones in 2013, up from 35 million units it forecast for this year, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.

"We think next year will be very good (for smartphones)," He Shiyou, ZTE's executive director, told Reuters in Shanghai.

Last week, ZTE executives told analysts after reporting its third quarter results that the company expected to sell 25 million smartphones this year.

In the third quarter, ZTE reported its first quarterly loss - of $310 million - since listing in Hong Kong in 2004, on shredded margins, telecom network project delays and accounting changes in China.

ZTE is the world's No.4 smartphone maker with 7.5 percent market share, ranking behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Apple Inc and Research In Motion, according to research firm IDC's latest data.

The Chinese firm, whose best selling smartphone models include the Skate and the Blade, has been trying to produce more high-end handsets, such as its Grand series, to boost handset margins.

ZTE sold around 15 million smartphones last year. Executives said in August the company would ship 1 million tablet computers this year, more than double last year's levels. (Reporting by David Lin and Kazunori Takada; Additional reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in HONG KONG; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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