HTC Partners with CryptoKitties Ahead of Blockchain Smartphone Launch
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is partnering with the innovative blockchain title CryptoKitties ahead of the launch of its blockchain smartphone “Exodus”, TechCrunch reported.
The official release states:
“This is a significant first step in creating a platform and distribution channel for creatives who make unique digital goods. Mobile is the most prevalent device in the history of humankind and for digital assets and dapps [decentralized apps] to reach their potential, mobile will need to be the main point of distribution. The partnership with Cryptokitties is the beginning of a non-fungible, collectible marketplace and crypto gaming app store.”
In May, the phone manufacturer announced that it is working on a new Android phone which will be powered by blockchain technology. According to HTC’s chief crypto officer Phil Chen, the new device would be “comparable” to the $1000 Finney blockchain-powered phone released by Sirin Labs last year.
The company has been struggling to keep up with the tremendous competition currently seen in the mobile phone arena. Its headcount is down to less than 5,000 employees from 19,000 in 2013. Earlier this month, HTC announced the lay off 1,500 employees from its Taiwanese manufacturing division in line with its efforts to restore profitability, Endgadget reported.
However, HTC Exodus said (via its official Telegram channel) that the layoffs would not affect the blockchain smartphone project. According to TechCrunch, the company has revealed a few details on the project at RISE in Hong Kong this week.
“In the new internet age, people are generally more conscious about their data,” Phil Chen said. “This is a perfect opportunity to empower the user to start owning their digital identity. 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.”
Chen further told The Verge that the phone is expected to launch around the end of 2018, adding that the company expects to make a price announcement by the end of third quarter. When asked about global availability, Chen said, “I want to say it will be available definitely everywhere outside of China.”