Ina Fried

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China’s ZTE Introduces First U.S. Tablet, the $99 Optik for Sprint

ZTE, the fast-growing Chinese phone maker, on Thursday announced its first tablet for the U.S. market.

The Optik, for Sprint, will sell for $99 with a two-year contract, or $349 without a contract. It runs the Honeycomb version of Android, packs a dual-core Qualcomm chip, front and rear cameras and a 7-inch screen.

ZTE has laid out some ambitious goals, both globally and in North America. The company says it wants to become a player in hotspots, phones and tablets here.

“That’s our strategy this year,” ZTE USA chief Lixin Cheng told AllThingsD last month.

In a statement on Thursday, Cheng said that the Optik should make tablets available to a new range of customers.

Whether it can do that, or will instead just become one of many low-cost Android tablets, remains to be seen.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus