STRUGGLING PHONE MAKER HTC has revealed some more details about its blockchain-powered Exodus smartphone, confirming it'll be released later this year.
HTC has been having a rough time as of late. It's latest U12+ flagship has been universally slated, which saw the firm's sales slump by a hefty 68 per cent in June, marking HTC's 11th consecutive quarter of financial loss. The company has also been forced to make sweeping job cuts, and earlier this month axed 1,500 staff - or 22 per cent of its total workforce - in Taiwan.
The company, like many suffering a mid-life crisis, is hoping blockchain will turn its fortunes around and has announced that the HTC Exodus, described as "the world's first phone dedicated to decentralized applications and security", is coming this year.
First announced in May this year, the HTC Exodus is a blockchain-powered Android smartphone that will support Bitcoin and Ethereum, among others, courtesy of a universal wallet, secure hardware and decentralized apps.
"Our vision is to expand the blockchain ecosystem by creating the world's first phone dedicated to decentralized applications and security", the Exodus landing page reads. "With the release of the HTC Exodus we can now make this a reality."
The project is being spearheaded by Phil Chen, who previously led the company's HTC Vive VR efforts and will now return to the phonemaker as, er, Decentralized Chief Officer after two years at Horizon Ventures.
HTC this week announced that the Exodus is real, and said it's on track to be officially unveiled by end of September to hit the market by the end of the year. And while there's no solid word on pricing, Chen told The Verge that to Sirin Lab's blockchain-powered smartphone, which is priced at $999.
The company is also partnering with Cryptokitties, it said this week, the "world's biggest game to be built on blockchain technology." The game, which is coming to other HTC handsets starting with the U12+, uses blockchain technology to enable players to purchase, collect, breed and sell various types of, er, virtual cats.
"This is a significant first step in creating a platform and distribution channel for creatives who make unique digital goods," the company said.
"Mobile is the most prevalent device in the history of humankind and for digital assets and 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, collectable marketplace and crypto gaming app store." µ
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