HTC Releases More Details On Its All-New Blockchain Phone
Jul 11, 2018
Taiwanese phone-maker HTC recently revealed more information on its HTC blockchain-powered Exodus smartphone. With HTC’s current financial problems, there’s a lot riding on the success of the Exodus and whether the phone will help HTC succeed in the smartphone market.
TechCrunch recently reported that HTC released more information concerning their smartphone at the RISE blockchain conference in Hong Kong. Although HTC revealed earlier that they would release the Exodus in the third quarter in 2018, there isn’t a specific date concerning their launch. TechCrunch noted that the confirmation of launch and the rough dates does however “make the phone a little bit more real.”
Although it’s uncertain whether a blockchain-powered smartphone is necessary, Phil Chen, HTC’s chief cryptocurrency officer argued otherwise. “In the new internet age people are generally more conscious about their data, this is a perfect opportunity to empower the user to start owning their digital identity,” said Chen. “The Exodus is a great place to start because the phone is the most personal device, and it is also the place where all your data originates from. I’m excited about the opportunity it brings to decentralize the internet and reshape it for the modern user.”
HTC’s decision to create a blockchain-based smartphone is a large investment for the company. “If this is the future and HTC has latched onto it first, then they’re ahead of everyone else” said Will Stofega, the program director at IDC for drones and mobile phones. “But the future comes when it comes and not when HTC needs it to come.”
HTC looks to create a crypto gaming app store and collectible marketplace
HTC also announced that they are partnering with Cryptokitties, a blockchain-based virtual game, and will include the game on the company’s handsets. The Taiwanese phone-maker mentioned the importance of the Cryptokitties partnership because it makes a new distribution channel and platform for developers and creatives who are keen to create digital goods.
HTC stated that “mobile is the most prevalent device in the history of humankind.” For Dapps and digital assets to see their potential, HTC believes that mobile needs to be the primary distribution channel. The partnership with Cryptokitties therefore marks the beginnings for a collectible marketplace and crypto gaming app store. HTC will also partner with Bitmark to achieve this goal. HTC promised to reveal more information on the Exodus smartphone in “the coming months.”
Exodus Smartphone May Make Or Break HTC
According to The Verge, HTC’s Exodus smartphone is a fairly risky bet. While the Exodus is one of HTC’s more interesting projects, HTC had a fairly poor start in 2018. In 2017, HTC shipped more than 2 million products in the first quarter. However, in 2018, it only shipped 630,000 products.
HTC is currently in poor shape and is struggling to bounce back from their financial situation. The phone maker recently laid off approximately 1,500 employees in Taiwan just last week so it could remain profitable. According to Reuters, HTC’s sales fell almost 68 percent in June 2018 and is considered the company’s biggest slump in over two years. HTC’s sales fell from $6.9 billion in a year ago to $2.2 billion in June.
The Taiwanese phone maker’s latest flagship product the U12 plus has also experienced a lot of negative reviews concerning its odd buttons and bugs in the software. An analyst from Trendforce, a market research firm stated that “in the high-end segment, the sales of their flagship phone this year has been lower than expected, leading to lower market share.”
It’s uncertain how HTC’s Exodus will perform. The Verge noted that HTC’s bet “on a niche-by-design device,” may not perform so well considering Chen is looking to create a phone that appeals to the masses but has targeted a niche market. While HTC may receive a first-mover advantage if they succeed, the Verge appears skeptical as companies like Google even have problems competing in the smartphone market which is dominated by Apple, Samsung, and Chinese competitors.
Cindy Huynh is a digital nomad and cryptocurrency enthusiast. As a former edutech founder, she’s on a mission to help others understand the social and economic implications of emerging technologies.