Yesterday, T-Mobile immediately ceased sales of all ZTE ZMAX devices and any related accessories at all T-mobile and Metro PCS stores that carried the device. Presumably this also extended to their online stores, and we would imagine it would extend to authorized retailers, although there was no mention of it. A major carrier pulling a device may not seem like a big deal, and perhaps it's not. The focus on the subject was the fact that the device was pulled after only seven months of being on T-Mobile's device lineup, which isn't that long. A similar situation happened with the Sony Xperia Z3 a few weeks back where T-Mobile had confirmed they were pulling the device from their lineup, although this is surely for an entirely different reason.
With the ZTE ZMAX, T-Mobile employees had received an internal memo to stop sales of the ZTE ZMAX and remove all device stock as well as any related items off the sales floor and to stop sales until further notice. At the time it wasn't clear why exactly T-Mobile and ZTE had decided to stop selling the phones and the accessories that go along with them. It was assumed that it could have had something to do with lackluster sales profits from the phone, but this reason was unclear and merely speculation, however logical it may have been.
According to a new report today from PC Mag who cites sources close to ZTE, it appears that the reason for T-Mobile and ZTE having to pull the device comes down to a surprisingly large amount of customers who had continually been trying to remove the battery in a device that comes with a non-removable battery. The ZTE ZMAX comes with a removable back cover, so perhaps people just assumed that the battery could be removed as well. Somewhere along the line, the customers that are attempting to take out the batteries from their ZMAX probably missed any alert from T-Mobile staff or from packaging disclaimers about the battery being non-removable. Otherwise, how do you explain the scenario, other than blatantly ignoring the fact that the battery is supposed to stay inside of the device at all times? The reasons for customers doing this may have been due to devices acting up, and the age old fix of pulling the battery must have been the remedy for these customers. ZTE has stated that if customers are having problems with a device though, they should take it into a T-Mobile store. The takeaway here, is either ask more questions about the product you're buying, or simply read what's on the box and/or in the instructions.