Meizu Shuts Down Android Smartphone Business, Says Will Go All in on AI

Meizu 21, with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, becomes the last smartphone by the company.

Meizu Shuts Down Android Smartphone Business, Says Will Go All in on AI

Photo Credit: Meizu

Meizu said it will continue to support current smartphones in China

  • Meizu CEO Shen Ziyu said consumers now take longer time to upgrade phones
  • Meizu will focus on modifying Flyme OS for terminal AI devices
  • The company might launch its first AI hardware later this year

Meizu, the Chinese consumer electronics brand, has officially announced its exit from the Android smartphone business. The company launched the Meizu 21 in China in November 2023, and it might now become its last traditional phone to hit the market. The brand also revealed that it will now be focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and developing both software and hardware solutions around the emerging technology. Notably, this is the second time Meizu is exiting an established business, with the first coming in 2007 when it moved away from manufacturing MP3 devices.

The information first came from a Weibo post by Li Nan, the former marketing director of Meizu, and was later confirmed by the company via a video on its website. During the announcement, company CEO Ziyu Shen stated that changes in the smartphone market were the main reason behind the pivot. He noted that users now take an average of 51 months or a little over four years to upgrade a smartphone.

Additionally, he highlighted that rival companies have also contributed to the added competition, as now many of them offer similar performance in smoothness, photography, and software experience. He added, that now the Chinese brand wanted to go “All in [on] AI”. It will now focus on terminal AI devices and will offer solutions both in terms of hardware as well as software.

Going forward, Meizu will modify its Flyme OS for smartphones into an operating system for AI devices. It will also develop a new mobile OS that will focus on AI features, and enable smartphones to integrate AI. Shen also referenced devices such as Humane's AI Pin and Rabbit R1, hinting that it might try its hands on different form factors. Additionally, the announcement revealed that the Chinese consumer tech brand might unveil its first AI hardware later this year. No details were shared on what it might be.

Meizu further stated that the existing smartphones in China will continue to be supported, and the offline retail stores will also remain unaffected. It is not sure whether the smartphones in the international market will also be supported or not. This makes the Meizu 21 the last smartphone by the company, as it is not known whether it will ever return to work on the speculated Meizu 21 Pro, or Meizu 22 series.

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Akash Dutta
Akash Dutta is a Senior Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He is particularly interested in the social impact of technological developments and loves reading about emerging fields such as AI, metaverse, and fediverse. In his free time, he can be seen supporting his favourite football club - Chelsea, watching movies and anime, and sharing passionate opinions on food. More
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