ZTE Grand S

Phones 4U is planning to sell its own range of smartphones this year, it has emerged.

The mobile phone retailer is looking to launch its own smartphones later in the year. Phones 4U said it might partnership with Chinese smartphone maker ZTE to make it happen.

Phones 4U bosses let the information slip when being interviewed for an in-house magazine for ZTE employees about customer experience. It was posted on Twitter by Ben Wood, a mobile analyst fat CCS Insight.

When asked if the firm was considering launching own-branded phones, Scott Hooton, chief commercial officer at Phones 4U, said: "We are planning it. Probably half way through 2013."

"We may do that in conjunction with ZTE." added John Whittle, director of commercial at Phones 4U.

If Phones 4U does decide to partner with ZTE it is likely it will do a similar thing to Orange. The mobile operator took ZTE phones like the Blade and Skate and rebranded them to the Orange San Francisco and Monte Carlo.

The article also revealed that Phones 4U will bring more ZTE smartphones to the UK in the high-end, mid-range and budget categories. "We think we will have a good partnership with ZTE in 2013." Said Hooton.

ZTE's most recent phone, the Grand S, is Full HD and was announced at CES in January.

The news comes following Phones 4U's announcement that it will launch its own virtual 3G network using EE's infrastructure in March called LIFE Mobile. The network will be upgraded to 4G later in the year.

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