You can’t please everyone.. ZTE learns the hard way

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There’s a saying that goes, “You can’t please everyone”. It is safe to say ZTE officially tried to do so and failed. Sometime ago, I did a piece on why you can’t have the perfect phone. Why do phone manufacturers do what they do? Take out one feature, add another, and you think they’re oblivious of their acts? ZTE tried to do it the other way round – they wanted to make a phone “the people” wanted, and guess what? Wait on it 😉

Since late last year, ZTE has questioned users on what they would want from a perfect phone. They picked the top 5 ideas and decided to make a smartphone that delivered on them. To sweeten the deal, they made it a crowd funded project on KickStarter. People were expected to back the project to the tune of $500,000 and it would become a reality. The bad news is that this project is already on the brink of failure.

ZTE Hawkeye

How ZTE learnt the hard way

The phone in question is the ZTE Hawkeye. If it ever came to fruition, it would have eye-tracking technology to allow users operate it hands-free. It would also have an adhesive back that can stick to any surface. Awesome in theory. The company set it for pre-order on Kickstarter at $199. So far so good, it’s 26 days to go and they have raised only $36,249 from 190 people – that is less than 10% of funds needed. ZTE has admitted they misjudged the whole situation.

Jeff Yee, ZTE’s VP of Technology Planning and Partnerships posted this on their community page:

After posting the project on Kickstarter and then releasing the detailed specifications of Hawkeye, we realize that our decision to introduce the 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. It was our mistake.

In a move to balance specs and price, ZTE said it wanted the device to be affordable. But we can see how it panned out. The company has set up another poll for users to decide if they want a Qualcomm 835 chip, bigger battery and more. This still goes to teach the very same lesson: You can’t please everyone.

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