Meizu is making a big push into the U.S. in 2014, and they hope to be successful by keeping things simple. The company used to make MP3 players, and has since transformed into a smartphone manufacturer that wants to be a global player. "If you want to start from the beginning," says Meizu's Sierra Ma, "we'd start in 2002, when we were an MP3 player manufacturer. At the time, we sold all over the world." Sierra Ma is spearheading the company's U.S. expansion.
In an interview with Electronista, Ma and several other Meizu executives discussed the company's past and their plans for the future. Company founder Jack Wong knew that smartphones would be the future for Meizu, even back in 2002. He began smartphone production in 2006 and launched the company's first smartphone, the M8 miniOne, in 2009. Meizu now has over 600 retail stores in China and is looking build on the success it's seen in China by expanding into the U.S. and globally. The company is taking a different path than competitors like ZTE and Huawei, though. "Huawei and ZTE have an entirely different strategy than us," Ma says. "They have their network equipment business, and selling phones is just another revenue line. For us, we're focused on smartphones. Another thing is that Huawei and ZTE began with low-end phones. We're entering with a high-end device, so you can't really compare."
Meizu has just released the MX3 running the latest version of their custom-UI, called FlyMe. The company is focusing FlyMe on user experience and hopes to differentiate itself from other OEMs in that way. "We're an Android phone. On top of Android, we put our own operating system called FlyMe. A lot of people ask us, 'Is it a skin?'" Ma states. "It's not only a skin; it's a simplified version of Android." FlyMe is centered around centered on one-handed smartphone use, which is important in this era of 6-inch phablets. That simplicity is what will bring the company success, or at least that's the goal this year.
Head over to Electronista and read the full interview. Chinese manufacturers like Meizu are coming to U.S. and other countries in a big way this year. We're excited about the devices they will offer to consumers, and about the competition that they will offer to embedded manufacturers like Samsung. How about you?