ZTE: Yeah, We Really Screwed Up With the Hawkeye

Back at CES 2017, ZTE finally debuted their crowd-sourced smartphone dubbed the Hawkeye. It featured design elements taken from the public’s suggestions, but it looks like that’s about it. See, in a new post today, the company has apologized for the type of specifications they loaded the phone with as a) they weren’t crowd-sourced properly and b) they’re completely under-powered.

Mainly, this concerns the processor inside. According to users, they wanted the Hawkeye to feature a powerful chipset such as a Snapdragon 835 to allow faster and smoother operation from a fully public-customized smartphone. But thanks to ZTE’s want of a smartphone that would be more globally accepted and “reach masses around the world,” they decided a Snapdragon 625 would be sufficient.

Well guess what ZTE? You were wrong.

Yes, you, you’re not alone. It looks like everyone wants a more powerful smartphone that can also track your eyes. ZTE notes that “CSX hands-free features on a mid-range device may not have met the expectations of those that backed this project and those that are early adopters and discovering Project CSX through Kickstarter.” Therefore, the company apologizes.

Interestingly enough, ZTE’s main intent with the Hawkeye was to create a handset with mid-range specs at a mid-range price most users could afford and pair it with features suggested by the public. That’s why they ignored the supposed “high votes” for the latest Snapdragon processor being installed or stock Android arriving out-of-the-box. But now, they realized they really screwed up the whole “crowd-sourced” thing and think that people should also vote for the specs and not just the body and unique features.

So how will ZTE fix this mistake? First of all, they’ve opened a poll (shocked?) to allow anyone to vote for one of their most necessary features they want loaded into the Hawkeye (don’t worry, the Snapdragon 835 is listed there), while the company is debating exactly whether to include better specs or not. Since they’re already had so many backers, they can’t raise the $199 introductory price, but in the same breath, they can’t upgrade the specs all that much since the margin between building the handset to selling it would shrink significantly. All in all, ZTE’s in a pretty lose-lose situation. Better pray they can get out of it.