Taiwanese electronics behemoth Foxconn is reportedly getting onboard to develop and manufacture ‘Finney’, a blockchain phone from Sirin Labs.
Codenamed the Finney, Swiss startup Sirin Labs first announced its Android-based open-source ‘blockchain’ smartphone with features including a built-in cold storage cryptocurrency wallet, encrypted communications and peer-to-peer resource sharing late last year. The startup raised $158 million for the Finney project, which includes a desktop, in an initial coin offering in December.
Bloomberg is now reporting that a subsidiary of Foxconn, the electronics giant that mass-manufactures popular hardware devices like the iPhone, has ‘agreed to help develop and produce’ the smartphone. The device will be developed with a physical switch that activates a cache of cryptocurrency-related services. The smartphone will also support and integrate all kinds of tokens, the startup said.
‘It will let owners shop on crypto friendly sites like Overstock.com and Expedia, converting cash into specialized tokens if needed,’ an excerpt from the report read. ‘Users may also activate their phone’s Wi-Fi while commuting and get paid in tokens by fellow bus riders looking for access to a wireless network.’
Priced at $999 at launch, Sirin is also planning on licensing its technology to other manufacturers in a bid to bring the smartphone’s current-premium price to as low as $200.
The startup claims it has already received 25,000 pre-orders for the device that is certain to appeal to cryptocurrency adopters and enthusiasts. The phone is expected to ship in October for online orders alongside retail sales in eight new stores in countries including Vietnam and Turkey. Sirin chief executive Moshe Hogeg hopes to sell the phone through mobile carriers in the future, alongside a shipping target between 100,000 to a few million phones this year.