Solana Unveils its Crypto-Native Smartphone: Plan to Launch Early 2023

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Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Labs CEO, showcased a new Android phone labeled “Saga” at an event in New York City on Thursday. The team has revealed intentions to launch an Android device using a subdivision that will focus on creating web3 mobile apps.

The 6.6-inch display device will come with 512 GB of storage, with an embedded private key security component. Its developers are integrating numerous web3 features with the phone natively, such as NFT marketplaces and decentralized applications (Dapps). Other notable functions will include Solana Mobile Stack (SMS), a web software kit, and more.

Solana to Enter the Smartphone Market with Crypto Native Phone

According to Yakovenko, the device, which will cost up to $1000, is already available for a $100 pre-order deposit. Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of Solana Labs, believes that shipping will commence in the first few months of 2023.
Yakovenko cited the growing adoption of mobile devices, stating that his team strives to bring the web3 experience closer to mobile users.

“Almost 7 billion people use smartphones around the world, and more than 100 million people hold digital assets—and both of those numbers will continue to grow,” Yakovenko said. “Saga sets a new standard for the web3 experience on mobile.”

Also, Other notable speakers at the event shared their positive sentiments about the smartphone. Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX exchange and a Solana proponent, mentions that the digital space is going mobile because it serves as a means of access for most internet users. He noted that mobile crypto wallets must improve to keep up with the fast-paced web3 space.

“The best solution for this is having the actual wallet built into your phone,” Bankman-Fried added.

Saga is a flagship release from Solana Mobile. Furthermore, the team will provide the toolkit needed to create the mobile crypto software on the Solana blockchain. According to the press release, the new web3 mobile device presents users with a new set of libraries for wallets and software apps. The team will be financing this new ecosystem with $10 million by attracting developers to build using the “Solana Mobile Stack.” 

Solana execs pointed out that they intend to use a zero-fee SMS-powered store as a competitive edge over existing app stores from Google and Apple.

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Solana’s Recent Outages and the First Web3 Smartphone Attempt

This launch will not be the first attempt at creating a web3 smartphone. At the peak of the 2018 crypto mania, Sirin Labs announced their blockchain smartphone dubbed Finney. However, the project suffered layoffs and litigation due to its inability to gain sustainable traction.

The Solana blockchain has suffered technological drawbacks in the past year, including numerous network suspensions. However, when asked about concerns related to surpassing challenges from previously failed attempts, Yakovenko boasted of the robust developer base of the network compared to the past.

Ranking of active developer counts. Source: Santiment

Statistical data adds credence to the CEO’s claim. Since the end of 2021, Solana has led development activities among top cap crypto projects. The project has also exceeded the daily GitHub submission rate of Ethereum, Cardano, and Polkadot.

Despite the massive plunge by more than 50% in its active developer count from over 700, Solana has managed to maintain its lead by a decent margin. Going by this premise, there may be a chance for the project to defeat its network failures and deliver a good product. 

Do you think Solana’s mobile launch will survive or suffer due to its numerous network issues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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