Before there was LG, there was Goldstar. Back in the '70s and '80s, those who didn't want to spend the money on a Zenith-branded television set or a Technics-branded amplifier went to K-Mart to buy Goldstar-branded electronics. It was a downscale brand for the lower-end of the market. But back in the '90s, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, the LG brand was born from Lucky Goldstar. It went upscale. It went quality. And it worked.
So here comes the "Nubia" brand from ZTE. It's one vowel and one consonant away from the "Nokia" brand, but who's to say where inspiration comes from these days?
ZTE has been successful with some reasonably solid Android-based phones, and they've made some significant volumes with operator-branded devices, but now it looks like ZTE means business. Will the Nubia brand become a household name in Western Europe and North America. Is Nubia another Samsung or LG in the making? It could be.
The bigger trend here, however, is the on-going commoditization of smartphone hardware with Asia-based companies such as ZTE, Huawei, HTC, MediaTek, Foxconn, Compal, Xiaomi, Lenovo, TCL, and others growing their influence over the industry. If strong brand names can be built or bought by the same, more power to them, literally.
If Chinese and Taiwanese companies can build up big brand names, it's icing on the commoditization cake. There might soon be a nu sheriff in smartphone town.
The "Nubia" brand from ZTE. Will this be the hot, nu thing?