Two Chinese smartphone companies are offering free cracked screen replacements to grab market share

ZTE Axon 7. (Source: Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider USA)

Just 10 years after the launch of the Apple iPhone, smartphones are now ubiquitous. As a result, the market has become commodified and it’s harder and harder to distinguish one phone maker from another.

Now the fierce battle for smartphone dollars has forced two Chinese manufacturers offer “no questions asked” screen replacement to lure in new customers.

Huawei launched its flagship Mate 9 device in Australia this month, and has promised replace the screen for free if it’s cracked within three months of purchase, even if it’s the user’s fault.

Meanwhile, ZTE has trumped its rival, with local managing director Daniel Zhao telling Business Insider that its flagship Axon 7 has 12 months of accidental damage insurance cover worth $300, which includes non-screen damage – such as malfunction from a drop.

Huawei Mate 9. (Source: Huawei)

With Australians using and handling their smartphones day and night, cracked screens are a common problem. Huawei and ZTE are both betting that their “no fault” replacement offers will tempt customers who would’ve otherwise chosen market leaders Samsung and Apple.

The latest Gartner research saw Huawei come third in global smartphone sales with a 9.5% market share in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Shenzhen-based tech giant took 8.9% of global sales last year.

ZTE was in the headlines last year after the US Commerce Department imposed export restrictions on US suppliers, accusing the Chinese firm of breaking sanctions against Iran. The restriction was halted with a series of temporary reprieves, with the latest relief due to expire on Monday.

Zhao told Business Insider that the company’s troubles in the USA had no impact on its business in the Australian market.

Business Insider USA has reviewed both handsets: here is the ZTE Axon 7 review and here is the Huawei Mate 9 review.

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