Electronics giant HTC will not be releasing a smartphone with a native blockchain network for crypto trading between users as previously announced, The Verge reported July 10. Instead, the company will introduce a smartphone containing a cryptocurrency wallet and CryptoKitties, the Ethereum-based decentralized application (DApp) game.
On May 15, the Taiwan-based electronics firm had first unveiled its blockchain smartphone project, the HTC Exodus, that would reportedly include support for both the Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks. The Verge wrote in May that the company planned on creating a product with “a native blockchain network that uses Exodus phones as nodes that support cryptocurrency trading between users.”
Phil Chen, the creator of HTC Vive and HTC’s head of business and corporate development, said at the time that he envisioned a product that would allow customers to “truly own their data [...] without the need for central authorities,” Cointelegraph reported.
However, speaking to The Verge this week, Chen said that a phone that allowed users to own their identity is still in the future, and the Exodus — set to be released in 2018 — will include just a native crypto wallet and CryptoKitties.
Chen also mentioned that HTC is planning to incorporate crypto mining on mobile, noting that they are already exploring opportunities by checking out different consensus protocols and may issue a white paper on the project later on this year.
The Verge notes HTC’s shipping numbers are down in 2018: having shipped more than 2 million products in the first quarter of 2017, the company shipped just 630,000 devices in the first quarter of this year.
Last week, the company revealed that sales in June have dropped by 68 percent, while their latest product U12 Plus has received mainly negative reviews. In early July, the company also fired 1,500 employees in Taiwan to cut its costs.
Also this week, Swiss-based Sirin Labs told Cointelegraph that the company plans to release its own blockchain-powered smartphone, the Finney, in November this year. In December 2017, Sirin Labs raised $157.8 million for the project during their Initial Coin Offering (ICO), with $110 million collected in just first 24 hours.
The Verge notes that while the cost of the HTC Exodus is expected to be announced by the end of Q3, Chen noted that its price would be “comparable” with the Finney, which has an expected price of $1,000.
In March, Chinese tech giant Huawei was reported to be seeking a license for the SIRIN OS technology, developed by Sirin Labs, in order to release their own phone featuring blockchain-based DApps.