BERLIN (Reuters) - Chinese group ZTE, the world's fourth-largest mobile phone maker, unveiled its first smartphone model using Intel processors, marking an important break into a top-tier handset maker by the U.S.-based group.
ZTE said on Thursday its Grand X IN model, which will go on sale in Europe next month, will mark the start of a wider portfolio of Intel-based products.
"This is the first among a number of handsets in the next 12 to 18 months," Chris Edwards, European business development and marketing chief at ZTE, said in an interview.
Intel has fallen far behind in processors for smartphones and tablets and is betting its lead in manufacturing technology will help it break into the key growth market.
"Intel has to forge a path into mobile given the sizeable growth opportunity. Failure to do so further risks ARM using its mobile dominance as a platform to attack Intel's core business in PC," said Geoff Blaber, analyst at research firm CCS Insight.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki and Harro ten Wolde; Editing by David Holmes)