Technology giants such as Apple Inc AAPL and Samsung may have competition in the mobile phone market soon. A leading blockchain company announced a new mobile phone coming in 2023.
What Happened: Solana Labs, the company behind Solana SOL/USD, announced a crypto mobile phone in partnership with Osom, as reported by The Verge.
The Osom OV1 phone that was previously in development is being renamed and repurposed as the Saga.
The phone will be available in the first quarter of 2023 in markets that include the U.S., Canada, U.K. and parts of Europe. A $100 deposit is required to reserve the phone, which has a price tag of $1,000.
Specs on the phone include a 6.67-inch OLED display, 512GB of storage, 12GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip from Qualcomm, Inc. QCOM.
The phone will come with many crypto-specific software items including support for decentralized apps from the Solana blockchain.
The Saga phone will also feature Magic Eden and Phantom, the leading NFT marketplace and wallet for the Solana blockchain, respectively.
“Osom is incredibly excited to partner with Solana in building the Saga,” Osom CEO Jason Keats said. “The world needs novel hardware companies to support the future that is Web3.”
Solana developers might get early access to the Saga.
“We’re targeting those hardcore people that understand what self-custody means,” Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yahovenko said.
A slide during the presentation said, “developers and degens first.”
Related Link: How To Buy Solana
Why It’s Important: Yakovenko showed off the phone and specs on Thursday in New York calling the phone another evolution in a quest for cryptocurrency to “go mobile.”
“We didn’t see a single crypto announcement at Apple’s developer conference, 13 years after Bitcoin went live,” Yakovenko said during a Q&A Thursday. “I think it’s going to be up to us.”
FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is a key investor in Solana Labs and spoke Thursday on the new phone.
“Everything is going mobile. In most countries, most of the access happens through mobile phones,” Bankman-Fried said. “But crypto mobile is behind the times.”
The FTX CEO said that an option to move the needle forward is to have wallets built into phones.
Yakovenko echoed the statement from Bankman-Fried in a press release Thursday.
“We live our lives on our mobile devices — except for Web3 because there hasn’t been a mobile-centric approach to private key management,” Yakovenko said. “The Solana Mobile Stack shows a new path forward on Solana that is open source, secure, optimized for Web3 and easy to use.”
An app store for the Saga phone will have no “extractive fess,” Yahkovenko said, which was noted as being in stark contrast with the app stores from Apple and Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL-owned Google Play Store.
A blockchain phone was planned by Sirin Labs in 2018, Coindesk noted Thursday. The phone faced litigation and failed to gain steam through its development.
Yakovenko discussed the shortcomings of crypto phones before the Saga and said the new phone is better positioned due to more developers in the crypto space now compared to 2018.
SOL Price Action: Solana is up 7.62% to $37.45 on Thursday afternoon.
Photo: pakie via Shutterstock