Meizu returns with new smartphone and Flyme Auto system
Meizu, a veteran smartphone brand in China, launched new phones and smart system in Shanghai, the first product release since it was taken over by carmaker Geely.
It represents the trend of integration between smartphone and automotive industries with many firms expand business scopes like Huawei, Xiaomi and Skyworth.
A company run by Geely took a majority stake in Meizu, making the Volvo owner the first established carmaker to enter the smartphone market. A new company, called Xingji Meizu founded in March in Wuhan, now owns the Meizu brand and operates smartphone and operating system business.
The boundary line between smartphone and automotive industry is disappearing, Geely chairman Eric Li said an event in Shanghai on Thursday night.
During the event, Xingji Meizu kicked off its new smartphone line of three models priced starting from 2,999 yuan (US$435). The functions include bezel-less design and satellite communications, which allows users stay connected in parking lots and rural regions.
The company will open over 400 outlets in 40 cities nationwide in 2023 and "return" to the top five position in the domestic premium market within three years, said Xingji Meizu.
In 2022, the top five smartphone vendors in China are Vivo, Honor, OPPO, Apple and Xiaomi. With sluggish market demand, inflation and economic uncertainty, China's sales dropped below 300 million units last year, said International Data Corp or IDC.
In the industry, Huawei has offered smart driving systems and co-develop cars with automotive partners. Meanwhile, Xiaomi also released car-making plans with huge investment.
About a decade ago, Xiaomi and Meizu were arch rivals, especially in the entry and middle-level market segment.
Besides smartphones, Xingji Meizu also released a new Flyme Auto system, an in-vehicle smart control system to be adopted in a Geely's Lynk model.
Flyme is a major Android operating system with a long history in China. It has been developed and updated by Meizu for more than a decade.