These two mobile phone manufacturers announced their embrace of AI, but chose completely opposite directions.

On the first day of construction in the new year, Meizu became the focus of the industry.

Xingji Meizu CEO Shen Ziyu announced in a video conference this morning that Meizu will stop investing in new traditional mobile phone projects and decided to continue to launch AI terminal products "All in AI".

Will this be Meizu’s second rebirth after being acquired by Geely? Or is it another small manufacturer mobile phone that has become history after the fall of brands such as Black Shark and Smartisan? There is no final conclusion yet.

From the surface, Meizu’s step seems to be a drastic and even a bit reckless decision.

What is Meizu planning to do if it doesn’t make traditional mobile phones?

Meizu will strategically adjust its goal to bet on "tomorrow's devices" AI For New Generations. Through the product matrix of artificial intelligence, it will enter a promising new wave of AI technology.

It is foreseeable that this year's mobile phone industry is destined to use large AI models as a major selling point. Major mobile phone manufacturers have begun to layout the combination of AI and software ecology since last year. What I did not expect was that Meizu actually launched reforms from the root and gave up The old line of traditional mobile phone business, and gave a controversial reason:

As the replacement cycle of the global mobile phone market is extended, space for consumer innovation is limited, and vicious competition in the industry intensifies, the mobile phone industry is facing unprecedented challenges. At the same time, mobile phone products rely solely on hardware upgrades and parameter competition, which can no longer meet the diversified and comprehensive use needs and experience of consumers. The industry urgently needs to find new sustainable development directions.

Last night, Meizu’s official blog had previewed the above content in advance, and also made sharp comments on the current status of the industry and several friends.

Since the advent of ChatGPT in 2022, a large number of the world's top technology companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have chosen to fully bet on AI, which heralds the arrival of the AI ​​era, and Meizu, which is "seeking breakthroughs", will spend three years laying out the ecosystem and settling in technology to gradually complete the strategic goal of All in AI.

Shen Ziyu believes that although the current AI function-oriented terminal products AI Pin and Rabbit have given preliminary answers, such products are not perfect yet.

According to the plan, Meizu will build and update an AI-oriented mobile operating system this year. In addition, Meizu's first AI Device hardware product will also be officially released this year, and will compete head-on with the world's top AI Device manufacturers.

Meizu predicts that cloud and side-end computing power costs will drop in 2025, and AI Devices will enter a period of popularity. At that time, they will iteratively launch all-weather artificial intelligence devices and meet all-weather usage scenarios in the form of XR.

In 2026, Meizu will complete the construction of the AI ​​product ecosystem and set the domestic market share target of this product at TOP 1.

Meizu’s “ambition” comes from its confidence in the software and hardware of its own products.

Shen Ziyu said that Meizu is stronger than the above-mentioned AI product companies in terms of hardware manufacturing strength and software program development capabilities.

Therefore, Meizu will build a new AI device, reorganize the product form with AI native design, and use more powerful hardware computing power to support the overall deployment of AI.

The Flyme system will also be reconstructed. In All in AI, users will interact with AI in an "intuitive" manner.

After that, the hardware of Meizu products will be fully open to global large model teams, and it will also seek cooperation with international teams such as OpenAI.

There is also an interesting detail hidden in the demonstration animation at the press conference: the gradient color stripes below are highly similar to the style of the OpenAI official website.

I don’t know if this is a sign of determination for reform, or if it is a certificate of nomination hidden in the cracks.

Going all out for innovation is worth encouraging, but the question that users are most worried about is whether the original product line will be completely abandoned?

Meizu also gave its users “reassurance”:

  1. During the Meizu All In AI transition period, the user experience and services of the original Meizu Flyme, Flyme Auto, Flyme AR, MYVU, PANDAER and Wujie Zhixing businesses will not be affected.
  2. Meizu mobile phone products currently on sale will continue to provide users with normal software and hardware maintenance services. Users who have purchased Meizu 20 series and Meizu 21 flagship mobile phones will still enjoy the original after-sales and related service guarantees.

According to the three-year transition period, Meizu users will most likely be able to use their phones until 2026.

There is another hidden reason behind not making a traditional mobile phone

After reading today's conference and press release, many netizens are a little confused, and so are we, because Meizu has not made it clear what kind of AI products they will make in the future.

Why does it have to be a traditional smartphone? Why does it have to have a screen? We should reimagine the form of this device based on new interaction methods.

For example, Shen Ziyu's words in the video, after criticizing the current smartphones, did not describe the new interaction methods and reconstructed device forms. Therefore, new products can only rely on what is said in the article, relying on " "Imagine" and make up for it.

Compared with a press conference, this speech is more like a puzzle, and netizens also gave a variety of solutions to the problem. The biggest controversial point is: Will Meizu really give up its mobile phone business?

We can’t make a conclusion before seeing what Shen Ziyu calls “tomorrow’s product.” However, from the current market performance of Meizu and the words of the press conference, we can still find reasons for the two choices.

Choice ①: Still make a mobile phone, change the name

Meizu played two word games in the article.

First of all, in Shen Ziyu's speech this morning, when he said "Meizu will stop investing in new traditional smartphone projects", he placed the emphasis on the word "traditional" instead of "smartphone", although it was suspected of being excessive. Analysis, but as the CEO of the company, he should know the future development route of Meizu best. Even if the speaker does not mean it but the listener cares, the subconscious expression may contain the true meaning.

In addition, in today’s press releases and press conferences, Meizu has always emphasized “not making traditional smartphones” rather than “not making mobile phones”. It firmly binds tradition and smartphones, which may be Meizu’s new product. The foreshadowing of the announcement of "breaking away from each other".

If Meizu continues to launch a new mobile phone business, it will be able to seamlessly connect at this point and declare that the new product is not "traditional". It will not only say goodbye to the bumpy past, but also separate itself from other "traditional" brands in publicity. .

Some people familiar with the matter also revealed some information. The so-called business cessation is likely to cut off some of the original R&D models, and change the products that have entered the network or entered the assembly line this year into AI phones.

As Shen Ziyu said, "Meizu's time and resources are limited." Therefore, within the limited budget, we will first package the AI ​​concept on Meizu's label through a press conference to keep up with the trend of the industry, and then use a sentence later this year. "I'm back", igniting the fire buried on the Internet today.

Meizu's continued production of mobile phones is also crucial to Geely's ecological layout. Huawei, which has long been successful, Xiaomi, which is highly anticipated, and NIO, which is in its own way, have all created easy-to-use car-machine interconnection systems through the product layout of their own mobile phone terminals.

The independent mobile phone business has not achieved impressive results in the market. If an ecological AI mobile phone is built with Geely Auto as the center, FlymeAuto may become Geely Auto's latest selling point.

In November last year, Meizu's self-developed AI large model Aicy was also applied to FlymeAuto, which can answer questions about traffic rules, vehicle maintenance, and in-depth customized itinerary planning. Flyme Link can also transfer mobile phone information directly to the car, allowing you to check addresses and initiate navigation on the car with one click. These are the effects Geely hopes to see after acquiring Meizu, among which "cars" and "mobile phones" are indispensable.

Therefore, from a positive perspective, Meizu is very likely to continue its mobile phone business and announce through radical expressions that Meizu is no longer a "traditional" mobile phone manufacturer, but an AI company. As for the Meizu 21 Pro, 22, and 23 projects that have been officially announced to have been discontinued , change it to Polestar Phone or Alphabet series, and the publicity effect can be maximized.

Choice ②: Don’t make mobile phones and start a new business

It will return to the TOP5 in the mid-to-high-end market in three years. In 2023, it will build 400+ after-sales service points, 90-120 offline experience stores integrating car/mobile phone sales/after-sales, and build 1,000 offline stores in three years.

This is what Shen Ziyu said to the media after the Meizu 20 series launch conference.

Today, Meizu has completed the construction of 300+ retail stores and 400+ service stores offline. It can be considered that it has barely achieved its goal, but its core mobile phone business has disappeared in the Others category.

▲ China’s smartphone market sales share in 2022-2023 Q4. Picture from: Counterpoint

Mobile phones are a money-burning business, and Geely knows this, but it didn’t expect that before Meizu made a comeback, mobile phones could burn so much money. Even though Meizu 21 achieved the impressive achievement of "over 100 million in sales in one second" across all channels during its first sale period, it is somewhat unsatisfactory in the entire market.

Some industry insiders analyzed that under such circumstances, Geely does not want to continue to "transfuse" its mobile phone business, and may even start large-scale layoffs. The AI ​​Device at the press conference is a decent excuse to leave. Meizu will continue to develop AI technology in the future. , laying out AR glasses, large models of cars and machines, and new AI hardware.

However, with limited R&D funds, Meizu cannot invest more in mobile phone research and development, nor can it bring innovations that are different from other mainstream brands. Meizu 21 may really become the swan song. From now on, Meizu’s core mission is to do a good job in FlymeAuto. .

At present, Geely has achieved its biggest goal of acquiring Meizu that year – the FlymeAuto car-machine system. Although the car-machine interconnection experience is excellent, this is not the core selling point of new energy vehicles. An App can complete most of the interconnection functions, and more Importantly, the latter saves money.

Even if Geely intends to let Meizu continue to develop new AI phones, there will be almost no new product iterations during the hardware window that starts today. Coupled with the decline in market replacement rates and the continuous updates of other manufacturers, Meizu’s new phones will not be launched yet. Too realistic.

Just today, OPPO released "Opening a new era of AI mobile phones – a letter to OPPO partners."

OPPO believes that the mobile phone industry is about to enter the third stage after feature phones and smartphones – AI mobile phones. In order to welcome the AI ​​trend, OPPO announced that it has established a dedicated AI center. In the future, the company's resources will be concentrated on AI business.

In 2024, the mobile phone industry has reached a fork in the road again after nearly 7 years of full-screen competition. Terminal functions will receive major updates this year, which also means that the industry will face another reshuffle.

But in fact, the impact of AI on mobile phones has not been that big, and each company is rushing to add large models to the update log. This is because the competition in the mobile phone stock market is extremely fierce. In the face of immature folding screens, limited flagship space, and the next hardware Before the arrival of the technological revolution, AI was the biggest publicity point.

Major manufacturers represented by OPPO have used their outstanding imaging, display, design, feel, system and ecology to accumulate existing users, market share and financial resources in the previous stage, making them able and dare to take the lead in entering the new era. Gate capital.

The opposite actions of the two mobile phone brands Meizu and OPPO in terms of software and hardware strategies completely illustrate that companies in the "Others" category do not actually need to make mobile phones anymore.

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