Having spent years making white-box products for carriers around the world, ZTE has well and truly started focusing its attention on the high-margin consumer market of late. While the company is one of the largest manufacturers of mobile devices in the world, most end-consumers barely have any brand recognition for the Chinese manufacturer. The result of the push towards higher margins means the company has recently introduced a new brand in the market, called Nubia. The company has already launched multiple smartphones under the brand like the flagship Nubia Z9, the Z9 Plus and the Z9 Mini. Now however, it looks as if ZTE has grander plans for its would-be customers, especially in the US.
On June 23rd, tech publications got invites for the launch of an “Axon Phone” in New York City. PCMag did a little bit of digging around to uncover more, and found that the parent of the new Android-based smartphone brand happens to be ZTE. While the website cites its “own industry sources”, it also claims to have found several indications in Axon Phone’s own website which leads PCMag to its conclusion. Firstly, the site reportedly had mentions of the parent company ZTE on multiple occasions in its source code, something that seems to have been rectified by now. Secondly, Axon’s office address of 2425 North Central Expressway in Richardson, TX is a registered corporate office of ZTE. Thirdly, ZTE was the owner of the Axonphone.com domain from 2012 to 2015, and only recently was the domain information obfuscated.
Now as for the phone itself, going by the information provided on the brand’s axonphone.com website, the phone is said to be “Designed in the US”, and will come with 4 GB of RAM, Hi-Fi audio and a proprietary “super-simplified Android interface”. The phone’s rear camera will shoot 4K videos and will also supposedly allow images to be re-focused after they’ve been shot. All that, through the magic of a dual-lens camera. While there’s no mention of any other hardware specifications like screen and processor info, the site does inform, the phone will come in three different colors – blue, gold and silver. The website also mentions the unlocked price of the phone will be $450, but there’s no mention of the sales model ZTE / Axon wants to adopt in the US. The company is currently holding a contest on its site which comes with a $10,000 prize and the chance to win an Axon Phone. The device is slated to be launched on July 14th in the Big Apple.