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An Ubuntu Phone fan is attempting to get ZTE to make an Ubuntu-powered device.

The proposal is part of ZTE Project CSX, the smartphone giant’s ballsy commitment to build an entirely new mobile product by 2017 based on crowd-sourced ideas.

“This is your opportunity to let your voice be heard and for you to tell us what to build. Along the way in this fun and creative process, we’re also giving away prizes!”, ZTE say of the project.

The China-based company is already the 4th largest smartphone maker in the US and is within the top ten OEMs worldwide.

But would they seriously consider making an Ubuntu phone?

‘Ideas that are ‘possible by 2017’

At the time of writing the Ubuntu Phone proposal has picked up 26 votes. The leading idea (again, at the time of writing) has 100 votes. It calls on ZTE to make a smartphone with “no gimmicks”…

But even if the Ubuntu Phone proposal is able to pick up enough votes to place in the top three — and net the submitter a cash prize — there may yet be obstacles that prevent ZTE from accepting it.

For example, ZTE say they only want ideas that are “realistically possible by 2017”. While this rule is primarily there to nix demands for built-in matter transporters, foldable displays and kinetic charging it could, depending on your level of cynicism, be used to rule out Ubuntu Phone, too.


Ubuntu Phone is still very rough around the edges, too rough for mainstream use. That fact alone runs counter to the mainstream product that ZTE hope to create through CSX.

Canonical’s licensing cost per unit — for those unaware, Canonical charge an OEM a small fee for every Ubuntu device they ship — is also potentially at odds with the CSX’s goal of being “affordable to the general population”.

But don’t abandon all hope.

ZTE has form for exploring alternative mobile OSes. It launched the ZTE Open and ZTE Open C in 2014, two low-cost handsets running Mozilla’s poorly-received FirefoxOS.

You can find out more about ZTE Project CSX (which stands for ‘Crowd Sourced X’) on the official community website.

ZTE Project CSX Community Page

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