01/08/2012 16:24 | By Daniel Mackrell, contributor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

ZTE enters the top 5 smartphone manufacturers

Company joins the top brands after big shipping figures in 2011 and 2012.

ZTE has announced today that it is now among the top 5 smartphone manufacturers in the world, putting it alongside top brands such as Samsung and Apple.

ZTE (© ZTE enters the top 5 smartphone manufacturers)

The company, based in China, was able to do this for the first time, after shipping a reported eight million smartphones in the second quarter of 2012, a market share of 5.2 per cent.

Shipments of its low priced entry-level smartphones in China have helped it gain a 300 per cent year-over-year change.

Mr. He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and Head of the Terminal Division, said: "ZTE's great smartphone performance in 2012 in international markets has been a major contributor to our consistent expansion, and is a demonstration of the depth and strength of our R & D."

"Entering the smartphone manufacturers top five is an important milestone towards our target of becoming one of the top three mobile phone manufacturers in 2015."

After shipping more than 15 million smartphones during 2011, a mammoth increase of 400 per cent made it the second fastest growing smartphone maker, with Apple being the fastest.

The research, which was conducted by IDC's Worldwide Quartely Mobile phone tracker, showed Nokia and HTC as the remaining smartphone manufacturers that make up the top five. Samsung remains the leading smartphone provider, after success with the Galaxy Note and the newly released Galaxy S III.

Samsung shipped over 50 million units in 2012's second quadrant, but they could see the numbers change when Apple produce the next-generation iPhone, which is expected to be released later in the year. The combined market share of Apple and Samsung has more than doubled over the last two years which maintains the gap between them and their competitors.