AAAAND… There They Go. Meizu Calls It Quits on the Smartphone Business and Embraces AI

Another one bites the dust.

Meizu 21, the last smartphone Meizu will ever make.

After years of struggling in the smartphone business (don’t worry, we’re just as surprised as you are when the brand can still make flagship phones at this rate), the company finally gave up and instead focused much of its remaining resources towards the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) services. This was foreshadowed when Meizu introduced the FlymeOS Auto for Geely’s vehicles and brands which also include Polestar, the owner of Volvo Cars, and Lotus. And yes, Geely purchased Meizu for this exact purpose.

The brand’s global website has not been updated since the release of the Meizu 17 Pro and still lists the Meizu 16s as one of the latest flagship phones made by the company. This alone is a big hint that Meizu has already given up selling in the West and it’s also not doing fairly well in its home market in China.

According to a Weibo post, Meizu’s development team will transition onto making AI devices because the company believes that “AI is the future”. These new AI terminals will use a large language model (LLM) similar to OpenAI.

CEO Shen Ziyu justified that smartphone users take four years to upgrade and that many contemporary brands now offer speed, reliability, better computational photography, and smoothness at a higher level, and making smartphones are now pointless for the brand. So, sayonara to the Meizu 21 Pro, Meizu 22, and Meizu 23 series.

Meizu had a great start before the BBK giants came into play. Their popularity declined around early 2018 when the company failed to market their products properly. Nonetheless, Meizu is like Chinese LG wherein they designed unique-looking smartphones and innovated many things that the contemporaries now use, such as the secondary rear display and even a button-less smartphone.

Source: Weibo (in Chinese) via GSMArena