On the Australian Mobile market, ZTE is a relative new-comer, only recently launching their first mobile phone under their own brand name – the ZTE 969. But elsewhere in the world, ZTE is as common in the market as other brands like Huawei. Over the weekend, ZTE has announced a new partnership with Google, which may help them to achieve a little more visibility in the market place the world over.

The announcement is actually centred around the re-launch of a ZTE handset which isn’t actually available in Australia – ZTE Blade Vec 4G. The phone is being re-launched, with a difference — the inclusion of the Google Now Launcher. But it’s not just the ZTE Blade Vec 4G which will be getting the Google Now Launcher.

ZTE has announced that they have ‘worked closely with Google to pre-load Google Now Launcher onto several ZTE devices‘, moving forward the company plans to ‘pre-load Google Now Launcher on all Android 4.4 and above smartphones that have Google Mobile Services and Google Play enabled.

The benefits of the Google Now Launcher, laid out by ZTE, are the ‘Quick and easy access to Google Now’, ‘Free hands with a hotword’ and a ‘Visually appealing UI. These are subjective as to whether you were a fan of the ZTE launcher. Alex found in his review of the ZTE 969, that ZTE had kept a mostly stock Android experience with a few additional touches, so it’s not a massive leap for ZTE to move to the Google Now Launcher.

At the moment, the Google Now Launcher is limited to Nexus and Google Play edition handsets, but this partnership with ZTE could spell a wider move by Google, who has in the past year moved to control Android’s visual appearance, as well as the back end. It’s a bold move, when many see the major advantage of the Android OS as the openness and innovations – for good or bad – that OEMs bring to their skinned versions of Android. Whether it does spread to larger manufacturers is something we’ll have to wait and see.

Would you prefer the Google Now Launcher or your OEM of choices skinned Android launcher on your next phone?

Source: MarketWatch.
Via: Phandroid.
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geoff fieldew

Good job ZTE. It can’t hurt them to get on side with Google by including the Google Now Launcher. Smart move in endeavouring to establish a good working relationship with the big G.


What is the use of this article as it is very much seemingly irrelevant to Austrlia?
Are there any signs of a KK update for the ZTE V969 which would make the article relevant to Australia?

Daniel Tyson

Jenny – Thanks for questioning why we put posts on Ausdroid /s. We have ZTE phones in Australia now, one to start with (as you point out the ZTE V969) as noted in the article. But ZTE seem keen to release more here in our market (Oh, that’s why it’s relevant). Any ZTE phones released with Android 4.4 will be released with the Google Now Launcher.


Thanks Dan.

Sujay Vilash

While ZTE may only just be releasing a phone under their own name, they have actually been in the market for quite a while. Most Telstra branded phones/smartphones are re-branded ZTE phones.