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Submit your idea for ZTE's crowd-sourced device

ZTE is calling upon its community of fans to decide what their next device will look like and what hardware it will run. Democracy in action!

Published onAugust 3, 2016

ZTE Axon 7 Final-50

As new smartphones come off the assembly line, each model is met with a roar of praise and disgruntlement. How many times have you heard outcries of “Almost perfect, but not quite,” when a new flagship device arrives? Well, ZTE is angling to create a device that you’ll have no excuse to complain about, because you and several thousand of your closest friends will serve as the design team.

Project CSX is an ambitious endeavor that calls upon members of the ZTE community to create a new device for 2017. The company says they want their consumers involved in each step of the mobile product’s development, meaning users will be providing feedback and suggestions for everything ranging from the design aesthetic to the hardware.

ZTE's Z-Community is a place where you can talk about mobile tech with other ZTE fans

Hell, users will even get to decide what the product is, since the only stipulations are that it be a mobile product affordable to the general population and that it be realistically possible by 2017. CSX stands for Crowd Sourced X, after all, where the X can stand for anything.

This is the first time a phone manufacturer has taken this approach to design. Ideation begins now and lasts through August 31st, so if you’re interested, head over to the Project CSX site by clicking the button below.

you and several thousand of your closest friends will serve as the design team.

After submissions are in, voting for the best ideas will occur from September 1st through the 10th. From the 12th through the 30th, ZTE will be accepting concept submissions, and these concepts will be voted on in a second round of democracy lasting from October 1st through the 19th. ZTE will then start development on whatever X winds up being with a soft announcement deadline of Q1 2017.

We’ll be curious to see what comes of this. After all, “design by committee” is rarely used with fond connotations, and when your committee is as large as the entire ZTE community, well… That’s a lot of cooks for one kitchen. Will Project CSX produce a dream device or the McDonald’s version of a smartphone: something that’s okay for just about everybody but excellent for no one? Let us know what you’re anticipating in the comments!

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