OSOM’s OV1 is now a Solana web3 Android phone, Saga

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OSOM and Nothing have quickly become two of the most interesting smartphone companies in recent years. Nothing is OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s latest project, while OSOM is mostly made up of former Essential employees who want to launch their own business after the company’s messy dissolution. Pei buying Essential’s intellectual property seemed like another great cosmic connection between the two.

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Accordingly, both young hardware startups are making the news this week, though these announcements only highlight how different their paths have been. After all, there has never been an easy time to launch a smartphone, but the tide of external forces amid chip shortages and supply chain shutdowns has further raised the barrier to entry. Nothing means be selective about starting markets and the introduction of a OnePlus-style invitation system.

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On the other hand, for OSOM, this is the main benchmark for the company’s debut phone. OV1 becomes web3 oriented Android phone, Saga. As a result of the rebranding, the OSOM name was removed from the product. which, like Jacqueline notes, is produced by Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of blockchain startup Solana Labs.

“OSOM is incredibly excited to partner with Solana to create Saga,” OSOM founder and CEO Jason Keats said in a comment shared with TechCrunch. “The world needs new hardware manufacturers to support the future that is Web3. Creating an ecosystem that looks to the future without being burdened by past legacy ecosystems is extremely exciting.”

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Solana Saga Front (PRNewsfoto/Solana Mobile)

The company does not comment further, promising only additional updates in the near future.

So far, OSOM has positioned itself as a privacy-focused hardware manufacturer. Keats told TechCrunch, earlier this year: “We are developing a holistic privacy solution. We want to create devices, software and services that protect the privacy of individual users. And it could be as simple as integrating our software partners into our hardware to give them a real foundation to work with rather than just downloading their app from the app store. We can install it at the system level.”

What this means for OSOM remains to be seen. What this means for Saga (nee OV1) is another delay. Earlier this year, the company pushed back its launch from Q3 to Q4 due to its desire to use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chip. Everything has been pushed back to “early 2023” in today’s announcement, even though pre-orders opened today. The rundown of specifications looks promising, including a 6.67-inch OLED display, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of internal storage. Companies are bidding for ~$1,000—as opposed to “significantly less than $1,000,” as Keats told me earlier this year.

The key to the device is “Solana Mobile Stack (SMS)”, which uses the security features built into the Qualcomm chip. According to SMS,

[P]provides a new set of libraries for wallets and apps, allowing developers to build rich mobile experiences on Solana, the world’s most powerful blockchain built to run alongside Android. The SDK provides libraries and APIs for Android apps and a secure private key store, making it easy for developers to create and extend Solana dApps functionality.

The SDK for the service is open to developers as of today.

“Developers have been prevented from building truly decentralized mobile apps for too long because the current gatekeeper model just doesn’t work anymore,” Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said in a press release. “We live on our mobile devices — with the exception of web3, because there hasn’t been a mobile-centric approach to private key management. The Solana mobile stack shows a new way forward in Solana that is open source, secure, web3-optimized, and easy to use.”

This is not the first blockchain/crypto focused device. HTC made its own mobile effort back in 2018 with Exodus. Since then, the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer has been targeting a Metaverse-focused phone.

Credit: techcrunch.com /

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