Some companies simply decide on their own what their customers want. They make the product and then they try to convince their customers that this product is the best thing since sliced bread. ZTE wants to take a different approach. With Project CSX, they’re turning to their “Z-Community” for input and feedback on their next big thing. And they’re giving away prizes for your ideas.

ZTE is crowdsourcing ideas and they are committed to developing and building a mobile product by 2017. This mobile product, presumably a smartphone, will be based on the ideas submitted by the online community. The current timeline is seeking ideas between now and the end of August, followed by an additional 10 days of voting. Some of the ideas getting the most votes right now include solar powered screens, an emphasis on battery life, and the return of e-ink.

Of course, Project CSX is going to come with some caveats. You can’t expect ZTE to shoehorn a 10,000mAh battery and a 200MP Hasselblad-quality image sensor on a device that is only 3mm thick and folds up with a transparent display. It needs to be not only “technically possible by 2017,” but the proposed device must also “be affordable to the general public.”

This aligns with the “affordable premium” mantra epitomized by devices like the ZTE Axon and the soon to be released ZTE Axon 7. They’ve always tried to keep prices as low as possible while still offering a premium experience.

Among the prizes being awarded as part of Project CSX are straight up cash and a free trip to next year’s CES in Las Vegas. Do you have a brilliant idea for ZTE’s next smartphone? Let them know and you could be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.

Via TC

Update: The press release has now been added below.

[hide-this-part morelink=”Full Press Release”]

ZTE Launches Project CSX to Crowdsource the Next Big Idea in Mobile

Join Z-Community and lead the development of a new mobile device to be available next year

Richardson, Texas – August 4, 2016 — ZTE 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. To join Z-Community, submit your ideas, and learn more visit

“This is the first time a phone manufacturer is stepping out and crowdsourcing something entirely new, from start to finish,” said Lixin Cheng, President of ZTE North America. “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. “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

About ZTE Canada
ZTE Canada Inc., headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, a global provider of mobile devices, telecommunication systems and enterprise solutions. Operating since March 2005, ZTE Canada is dedicated to making cost-efficient, quality communication technology accessible to all. In North America, ZTE is the fourth-largest supplier of smartphones and handset vendors and is the second largest vendor in the pre-paid market. ZTE is one of the top rated high tech enterprises in the world, developing and producing 2G, 3G and 4G handsets and mobile devices in over 150 countries. Founded in 1985, ZTE Corporation is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges and is China’s largest listed telecom equipment company.

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