Mobile blockchain technology will soon become a reality, as electronics giant HTC has just announced the presale of its brand new blockchain-enabled smartphone, the Exodus 1.
The device was first unveiled during the recent Web3 summit, which took place between October 22-24 in the German capital, Berlin. HTC made the official announcement via its Twitter account on October 23.
HTC has been struggling to maintain a foothold on the global smartphone market. The company’s fortunes have been on a downward trend due in part to the largely negative response to its latest phone, the U12. HTC announced a round of redundancies at its plant in Taiwan last summer, cutting as many as 1,500 jobs. Strong competition from other brands, particularly Samsung, mean that HTC’s market share has shrunk from 10 percent in 2011, to just about one percent seven years later. So the launch of the Exodus 1 device is quite a gamble, as it marks a shift in corporate strategy to focus on new technology.
Early access available, but only through cryptocurrencies
The Exodus website, which is now live, states that the device is available to 34 world regions, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. The website further specifies that customers who may want to have ‘early access’ can only do so by using Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The launch of a blockchain-enabled phone had first been announced back in May of 2018. At the time, HTC said that the technology powering the Exodus 1 device would support ‘multiple blockchain protocols,” such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and some of the lesser known ones, like the Dfinity Network.
HTC is keen to point out the security features inherent to the device. The Exodus 1 includes a secure area of the core chip -essentially, a crypto wallet- designed to keep the customer’s cryptocurrency safe. The private keys will be kept in this area, to which the Android OS does not have access to. The idea behind this segregation is that keeping private keys or other sensitive information within the OS environment would mean a greater chance of hacking.
And finally, the price
The Exodus 1 is targeted at the higher end of the market. At the time of writing, the device is priced at $960 (0.15 Bitcoin or 4.7 ETH).
Exodus 1 is expected to start shipping in December of this year.
Written by: Fernando Sanchez