ZTE USA, the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. and second largest in the no-contract market,* today announced the launch of Project CSX, a crowdsourced mobile device the company will release in 2017. ZTE’s member-led forum, Z-Community, will serve as the platform for ideation and feedback throughout the entire development process.
“This is the first time a phone manufacturer is stepping out and crowdsourcing something entirely new, from start to finish,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “It’s a bold approach for the industry that demonstrates how ZTE keeps consumers at the heart of everything we imagine, design and deliver. Project CSX is taking our core value to the next level.”
Project CSX is a new method for developing products that engages directly with consumers at every step of the development process, from conception to what is finally delivered to consumers. The project will be broken into two key development stages where users can submit and vote for their favorite ideas.
Submissions are held to three rules: it must be a mobile product, the technology must be realistically possible by 2017, and the final product must be affordable for the general population.
Winning ideas and popular submissions will be awarded with small cash prizes throughout the process and the chance to win a trip to the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. Participants will have the opportunity to say they helped create an innovative mobile device that friends, family, and acquaintances will be able to purchase. In addition, participants registered on Z-Community will have early access to the final product.
“Sometimes the best ideas come from people outside of a company who have a fresh take we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise,” said Jeff Yee, vice president of Technology Planning and Partnerships at ZTE USA. “ZTE is an end-to-end telecommunications company and has the resources to develop all types of devices, not just smartphones. Maybe there are other ways we could be connecting that we have never imagined. We are excited to find out.”
Through Project CSX, consumers can learn what ZTE is all about, connecting people to what matters most, and use Z-Community as a platform to create something meaningful.
*Strategy Analytics, Q1 2016