ZTE Hawkeye's Kickstarter Campaign Cancelled; Smartphone Goes Back to Drawing Board

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ZTE Hawkeye's Kickstarter Campaign Cancelled; Smartphone Goes Back to Drawing Board
Highlights
  • Hawkeye phone's Kickstarter campaign was launched in January
  • Campaign managed to raise just $36,245 before being cancelled
  • ZTE aimed to raise $500,000 with the campaign

ZTE has announced that the company is "phasing out the Kickstarter campaign" for its Hawkeye smartphone, which was developed as the winning Project CSX idea and packed eye-tracking capabilities as well as a self-adhesive backing. However, the company has clarified that the project itself is not over and it is re-evaluating the device for developed for contest's winning idea.

The crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign for the Hawkeye smartphone, which was launched by the company on January 5, has now been cancelled on the basis of the feedback received by the company through its own Z-Community forum and from Kickstarter. To recall, after a tepid response on Kickstarter, the company had started a poll to query potential buyers about their interest in the smartphone. ZTE acknowledged that the Hawkeye's specifications may not do the eye-tracking concept justice, and said adding a Snapdragon 835 SoC was on the table. The smartphone was developed as a mid-range, affordable phone and was available on Kickstarter with a price of $199 (roughly Rs.13,300). Now, those users who pledged certain amount for the campaign will be eligible to get a refund, as per the company.

"You requested that the winning Project CSX idea - an eye-tracking, self-adhesive phone - be implemented on a higher spec'd device than what we initially proposed through Kickstarter. We've heard you loud and clear as we are reevaluating the device features that are implemented in to the device," the company said in an official update to its Kickstarter campaign.

ZTE says it has further decided to push back the release date of the smartphone to deliver a smartphone with higher specifications than originally proposed in its Kickstarter campaign on the basis of the feedback it has received. ZTE was originally slated to start Hawkeye smartphone deliveries from September this year. The company has not disclosed a new date but says it is currently finalising the timeline for the device.

Even though the company aimed to raise $500,000 (roughly Rs. 3.35 crores) from the campaign, it managed to find just 190 backers and raise $36,245 (roughly Rs. 24.3 lakhs) before the campaign was cancelled on Friday. The cold-response regarding the campaign might have been a contributing factor for the cancellation of the project.

To recall, the Hawkeye smartphone from ZTE that was listed on Kickstarter sported NFC and had the fingerprint sensor embedded at the back. It was suggested to sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display. The smartphone was to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM.

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