Meizu is closing its Android phone business to focus on AI

Meizu logo on the back of a phone
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Meizu plans to pursue an AI-centric strategy for the next three years, aiming to develop devices and a custom mobile OS compatible with large language models.
  • Its Android skin, FlymeOS, is making a transition to focus on AI terminal devices for vehicle infotainment systems.
  • Meizu commits to supporting its smartphones in China despite the shift away from traditional models.

Meizu has been flying under the radar in the Android phone race, and now it's shaking things up by going all in on AI to pivot from the traditional smartphone business.

Meizu revealed in a video announcement that it's exiting the traditional smartphone business, shifting gears to go all-in on AI (via GSMArena). Its latest model, the Meizu 21, unveiled in November 2023, could be its swan song in the smartphone arena.

The company is said to be pursuing an "all in AI" game plan for the next three years, as reported by the South China Morning Post. It is aiming to build devices and a customized mobile OS open to all the large language models, like the ones behind ChatGPT.

Meizu doesn't make it clear if it's ditching smartphones entirely. Yet, in the video, the company talks about devices like the AI Pin and Rabbit R1. Technically, they're smartphones with SIM cards and numbers, but they feature a non-traditional design.

The video also reveals that FlymeOS, Meizu's Android skin, is shifting gears to focus on AI terminal devices—think vehicle infotainment systems from its parent company, Geely. Meizu is developing a fresh AI-centric mobile OS, set to launch this year alongside new hardware.

Even though Meizu is shifting away from regular smartphones, it promises to continue support for its phones in China. As for the ones sold overseas, there's no word on that yet. The AI transition seems like a smart play for Meizu, especially since it's not a major smartphone player globally.

Meizu is said to introduce its inaugural AI-focused device by late 2024. It's keeping mum about what's next on the project list, but given its track record in the consumer game, the AI market is bound to get interesting with Meizu.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.