ZTE will open its own stores around the world so you can buy its phones (and more)

ZTE Axon 7 Hands On
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Following in the giant retail footsteps of Apple, ZTE has announced plans to open 23 flagship stores around the world, reports Bloomberg.

According to Adam Zeng, chief executive officer of ZTE’s mobile devices business, the company will open around 20 stores in major cities throughout China. Even so, ZTE also plans to open three additional stores in Germany, Russia, and Mexico, bringing the total to 23. Furthermore, the company plans to have these stores opened by year’s end, with the focus being on selling ZTE’s smartphones and consumer devices.

Even though ZTE sold 53 million smartphones in 2015, which helped the company get to fourth place in the U.S., the company plans to use the stores as a way to bolster visibility and sales. “The stores will help us lift brand awareness while spurring sales in the areas we value the most,” said Zeng.

If that sounds familiar, that is because Apple has utilized the same strategy with its Apple Stores for the last 15 years. Samsung also has its own stores, though they live within Best Buy stores here in the U.S. From the sounds of it, ZTE’s stores will not take space inside of another store and will instead be stand-alone, though the company did not specifically mention opening stores on U.S. soil.

ZTE’s announcement comes at a fortuitous time, since the company recently unveiled the Axon 7 and its sidekick, a virtual reality headset. Serving as ZTE’s flagship phone, the Axon 7 comes equipped with a 5.5-inch, 2,560 x 1,440p resolution AMOLED display, quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, and 6GB RAM, if you opt for 128GB of storage. If you go with 64GB of storage, however, you will still get a healthy 4GB RAM. The Axon 7 is set to go on sale sometime during the summer for under $500, with rumors of a $450 price tag.

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