Taiwanese phone maker HTC announced in May that it was working on a blockchain-powered phone; it’s now shared the first bit of news about the device – named Exodus – saying that it plans to release it by the end of Q3 this year.
The company isn’t saying much else about the device, but its new ‘chief decentralizing officer’Phil Chen told The Vergethat its cost would be comparable to the $1,000 price of the upcoming Finney blockchain phone from Sirin Labs.
It remains to be seen if this strategy will help HTC save its troubled business. Itssales were down by 68 percentin June, the biggest drop it’s seen in the past two years. Its recent U12+ flagship was also poorly received, despite packinga highly rated camera.
The companylaid off 1,500 peoplefrom its manufacturing unit in Taiwan in a bid to save itself. That follows an effort to raise money in a $1.1 billion deal last year when it shipped off some 2,000 employees to Google, who were then believed to be tasked with developing the Pixel hardware line. With that, it’s left with far fewer of its best engineers and designers than a few years ago.
While we don’t know much about the Exodus, it’s safe to say that an awfully expensive handset that touts a cryptocurrency wallet as its key feature – at a time when interest in digital currencies is waning – is likely to appeal only to a niche audience. It’s hard to pin one’s hopes on rescuing HTC with something like that. As a longtime fan of the brand, I hope it can prove me wrong.
If you’re keen on owning an Exodus, you can register your interest onHTC’s new site for the device.