HTC and Sirin Labs to Launch Blockchain Phones This Year
In May, the Taiwanese electronics company HTC announced its blockchain powered phone Exodus to be launched in the third quarter of the year. This news came in the midst of a difficult time for the company. Last year, the company had shipped over two million products in the first quarter, however, this year, it was only 630,000. The company has also been struggling with employee layoffs and a fall in the sale by 68% in June.
However, the race to launch the first blockchain phone is on among phone manufacturers. Phil Chen, the chief crypto officer at HTC said that the HTC Exodus had already received ‘tens of thousands’ of reservations globally at the RISE Conference in Hong Kong.
Chen also gave some limited details about this phone which is extremely essential in determining HTC’s future. The phone is expected to release at the end of this year, preceded by a price announcement in Quarter 3.
Chen also talked about plans of making the phone available globally. He said,
I want to say it will be available definitely everywhere outside of China.
China has stricter regulations and therefore he wasn’t confident about the phone’s release there.
On the other hand, Sirin Labs announced in April that Finney, its blockchain phone already has 25,000 pre orders and is expected to ship in October. Now, this phone is expected to lauch in November and be priced at $1000. The HTC Exodus, while hasn’t had a price release yet, is anticipated to price lower than the Finney.
Both Exodus and Finney will include digital wallets that will allow users to store and use cryptocurrencies for day to day transactions.
In the long term, HTC plans on developing a way to make mining of cryptocurrency on mobile more efficient. Chen also indicated that at some point the company may create its own token, but there is no specific timeline set on that yet.
According to Chen, a phone with a cryptocurrency wallet will be “the most secure hardware wallet out there.” It will also allow them to distribute the ‘Cryptocritties’ game that involves trading in cats with certain genes. Chen believes that this will be a way for people who don’t understand blockchain and cryptocurrency well to understand the technology by playing a game.
It seems like this blockchain phone is a way for HTC to remain relevant in an environment where the market is ruled by players like Apple and Samsung and in a situation where HTC is struggling with revenue and performance.
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