Earlier this year, ZTE announced plans to release a crowdsourced "mobile product" in 2017, dubbed Project CSX. The manufacturer is soliciting ideas and feedback from the community over the hardware, design, and overall development of a phone, tablet, or even a smartwatch. The idea is to get customers involved in every stage of the development process, with ZTE offering early access to the finished hardware, as well as a chance to attend the Consumer Electronics Show.

ZTE Axon 7

From ZTE USA's CEO Lixin Cheng:

This is the first time a phone manufacturer is stepping out and crowdsourcing something entirely new, from start to finish. It's a bold approach for the industry that demonstrates how ZTE keeps consumers at the heart of everything we imagine, design and deliver. Project CSX is taking our core value to the next level.

Have a great idea that you think can make a difference? Here's what you need to know:

Submissions are held to three rules: it must be a mobile product, the technology must be realistically possible by 2017, and the final product must be affordable for the general population.

Winning ideas and popular submissions will be awarded with small cash prizes throughout the process and the chance to win a trip to the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. Participants will have the opportunity to say they helped create an innovative mobile device that friends, family, and acquaintances will be able to purchase. In addition, participants registered on Z-Community will have early access to the final product.

The process is split into two stages: you can submit your ideas until August 31, following which there's a voting period from September 1 - 10. Concept submissions are from September 12 - 30, and those in the community get to vote on the concepts from October 1 through October 19. Once the design is finalized, ZTE will begin the development, with an announcement slated for early 2017. More information about the voting and selection process here.

Want to get started? Head over to the Project CSX site from the link below.

ZTE Z-Community