On December 4, 2017, we had reported that Switzerland-based Status Research & Development GmbH has partnered with Sirin Labs, creator of the $14,000 Solarin smart phone, to develop a blockchain based smart phone, named Finney.
The latest news is that a subsidiary of the world’s largest electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group will manufacture Finney on behalf of Sirin Labs. In this regard, a contract was signed between Sirin and Foxconn.
Finney, will be preloaded with mobile Ethereum client Status. Sirin has claimed that Finney is the most secure smart phone which can hold cryptocurrencies. Sirin’s CEO Moshe Hogeg said the complexity of storing Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies safely in an offline wallet limits the adoption of cryptocurrencies by ordinary people.
Hogeg said to Bloomberg,
“the mass market would never get it. There’s no chance my mom can figure out how to use Bitcoin, and my mom is smart.”
Earlier in December, Sirin raised $158 million for the project through an ICO. It had previously received a seed funding of $70 million. The company aims to start shipping out Finney in October. The device will be initially sold in eight new stores located in Vietnam and Turkey. Eventually, the blockchain based smart phone will be sold through mobile careers. The company already has orders for 25,000 mobile phones. Sirin hopes to ship between 100,000 to a few million units this year.
The device will support all kinds of tokens and also enable users to shop on crypto friendly sites like Overstock.com and Expedia. Users can also share their Wi-Fi network with another person in return for payment in cryptocurrencies.
SIRIN LABS is incredibly excited to announce that it has chosen FIH Mobile (Foxconn International Holding) to Manufacture the FINNEY smartphone. With this development, we are taking a huge leap forward to bring the Go Crypto revolution to the mainstream. https://t.co/YvZ1oX4xD4
— SIRIN LABS (@SIRINLABS) April 4, 2018
Instead of the complex private key, Sirin would enable users to access the cryptocurrencies in the phone through a combination of iris scan, fingerprint, and a simple password. A physical switch on the smart phone would enable activation of all cryptocurrency related services in the phone.
Matt Suiche, founder of security provider Comae Technologies has cautioned “while the phone’s architecture seems secure, there’s a risk that thieves could kidnap Finney owners and access wallets by force. It looked like the phone design was designed to stand out visually — to make it more appealing to the public from a sales point of viewl. But it always makes it easier to identify targets.”
The company is also planning to license its technology to other phone manufacturers. Such a deal could bring down the price to about $200. Notably, Finney is priced at $1,000.
“I think I can take it to a mass market phone in a world where innovation in phones is saturated, it’s dead.”
Sirin is currently in negotiation with a top supplier. It is also expecting a deal with two smaller manufacturers. The company is also in talks with Huawei Technologies Ltd., according to Bloomberg.
Siring is hoping to launch the product early and garner a major market share before competitors like Zippie and BitVault bring out their own versions of blockchain based smart phone. Zippie had raised $30 million in an ICO in February. Zippie was founded by a 10-member team with experience of working at Nokia and Jolla, a mobile operating-system company. BitVault has already shipped a few units for evaluation in military applications in Asia. BtVault is also planning to ship its blockchain based mobile phone directly to clients.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and the fourth-largest information technology company by revenue. The company is the largest private employer in China and one of the largest employers worldwide. Its founder and chairman is Terry Gou.
Notable products manufactured by Foxconn include the BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, Nintendo 3DS, Nokia devices, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One. As of 2012, Foxconn factories manufactured an estimated 40% of all consumer electronics sold worldwide.