- Solana’s Saga Web3 phone will go on sale in early May.
- The phone is crypto and blockchain-enabled but billed as a Web3 device.
- Previous crypto-first phones have not taken off, battling to break into a market dominated by big tech names.
Crypto-first smartphones have been tried and tested before but with very little success. However, with a Web3 revolution edging closer, could Solana’s offering be good enough to break into a tough market?
Around ten months ago, Solana’s co-founder and CEO, Anatoly Yakovenko, announced the launch of Saga, a Web3-focused Android smartphone. The phone is ready to go on sale on the 8th of May, with Web3 offerings that could be well suited to a changing internet.
Sirin Labs and HTC have previously attempted the launch of a crypto-focused smartphone in 2018 and 2019. However, those attempts failed to gain traction or break into the market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Solana’s Saga phone, as expected, contains a hardware wallet, but also the opportunity for the phone to hold an entire ecosystem.
The “SMS” System
Apart from the 512 GB of storage, two back camera lenses, a 6.67-inch OLED display, a fingerprint scanner, and a $1,000 price tag, the phone’s difference maker is the “Solana Mobile Stack” (SMS).
SMS is a selection of customizable add-ons that power crypto usefulness into Saga’s hardware and software. The mobile stack also has internal security features to provide for sending, receiving, trading, and storing crypto on the device.
The phone also has a custom dApp store that only lists crypto-based apps, with Solana taking a real dig at Apple and its App Store fees, which can be as high as 30%, by saying it won’t impose extractive fees on dApps store apps.
A Watershed Moment?
Saga is trying to break a line of failed crypto phones with better timing and more functional features suited to a changing world moving to Web3. However, Saga did not get off to the best start as it was unveiled at a New York event that headlined the now disgraced Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX.
Because of Solana’s efforts to be a Web3 ecosystem leader, the rollout of a device explicitly aimed at this emerging audience, Saga could be a watershed moment. But, it is a question that will only be answered after the phone goes on sale and whether people take it up or not.
On the Flipside
- When the HTC Exodus 1 blockchain phone launched in 2018, many considered it a flop because of low sales, but HTC followed it up with a more affordable option in 2019.
Why You Should Care
Crypto and blockchain applications are still struggling to break into mainstream usage. If a successful and functional Web3-enabled phone were to break into the market, it would be a much easier route to mainstream usage.
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