ZTE is discovering the pitfalls of trying to build a community driven phone. The Hawkeye Kickstarter has barely set the world on fire, with the project less than 10 percent funded after a week. Of course, it might have something to do with the specifications the company was trying to push.
The Hawkeye was born of ZTE’s CSX campaign, where the public were invited to submit their ideas for a brand new state-of-the-art smartphone. Two features were taken from the ideas: one for an eye-tracking feature, while the other was a coating that would allow the phone to stick to any surface. Both of these features made their way to the Kickstarter.
The problem is that ZTE chose to pair these rather innovative new features with a distinctly mid-range set of specifications. In particular, the Snapdragon 625 processor; which disappointed many potential backers of the project.
Fortunately, the company has apologised for its handling of the entire project. It has opened another poll for people to explain why they feel shortchanged by the Hawkeye announcement, and is planning to alter the specifications of the device based on this feedback.
Naturally, there is a strong movement for ZTE to upgrade the processor to a Snapdragon 835 processor. Which would put it as a firm competitor against other flagship smartphones; nevermind that ZTE had originally planned this to be a mass market mid-range device.
This would make the Kickstarter campaign especially interesting, as ZTE has said that it be keeping the price at $199 (about RM880). That being said, it doesn’t look like this experiment with crowdfunding is working out. There’s been little buzz about the entire project, and it certainly has not captured the imagination of the public.