ZTE decided to “phase out” the Kickstarter campaign supporting its much-hyped “crowdsourced” smartphone after failing to generate much interest.
At the point the campaign was closed it had pledges of $36,245 toward its target of $500,000. However, the effort essentially stalled in January 2017, leading the company to admit mistakes in the process.
The effort, called Project CSX, was kicked-off with a fanfare last year, with the intention of canvassing user input into the features a smartphone should have.
Having ended up with an “eye tracking, self-adhesive phone” (called Hawkeye) as the winner, the company then failed to impress supporters by pairing this with a mid-tier hardware specification – not something likely to impress those keen enough to get involved with a smartphone crowdsourcing initiative.
The company did then attempt to reinvigorate the process by polling its community about the key features which needed upgrading, although trying to stick to the $199 price pegged by the Kickstarter campaign limited its options somewhat.
ZTE now said the fact it pulled the plug “doesn’t mean the project is over”.
“We’ve heard you loud and clear as we are reevaluating the device features that are implemented in the device,” the company said in a Kickstarter update. In terms of timelines, it said it will “continue providing updates and collaborate with the community throughout the entire process”.