Solana Launches Web3-focused Saga Smartphone to Improve Crypto-Mobile Relationships

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Solana co-founder and CEO Anatoly Yakovenko had a Steve Jobs moment when he stood in front of an audience in New York and announced the launch of Saga, a web3-focused Android smartphone.

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“This is what, in my deep conviction, the industry needs to do,” Yakovenko said. “We didn’t see a single cryptographic feature at the Apple Developers Conference 13 years after bitcoin was alive.”

Yakovenko joked that people would take out their laptops in the middle of dates so as not to miss out on the NFT mining opportunity. “So I think it’s time for crypto to go mobile,” Yakovenko added.

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Saga aims to introduce digital asset products and services so that users can easily transact with their cryptocurrency through a device rather than through a laptop browser.

In addition to the Saga announcement, Yakovenko shared the launch of the Solana mobile stack, or SMS, which is a web layer for Solana built into the phone.

“Web3 still feels like we’re living in 2007,” said Stephen Laver, lead mobile technology engineer at Solana Labs. “[SMS] can create an experience for the community… it will treat SMS devices as first-class citizens of Solana.”

“Everything is going mobile,” Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, said at the event. According to Bankman-Fried, in most countries access to people’s daily lives is mainly through mobile phones. But the mobile availability of crypto products today is low, he said.

SMS will consist of a range of products including a seed vault, a storage solution, a mobile wallet adapter, Solana Pay for Android, and a decentralized application (dApp) store. It “provides a new set of libraries for wallets and apps, allowing developers to build rich mobile experiences on Solana,” according to a press release.

“1% of my purchases right now could be with crypto… but I would rather [paying with it]”, – said Bankman-Fried. “Having web3-enabled devices and a hardware wallet is very powerful.”

A number of crypto companies, including FTX, Phantom, Magic Eden will partner with SMS, and there’s also a $10 million developer fund for people who build apps on it. “The builders are coming in and they are of higher quality than before,” said Raj Gokal, COO of Solana Labs. “They are ready for the next phase of user growth.”

The $1,000 device will have 512GB of storage with a 6.67-inch OLED display and is available for pre order With a $100 deposit, deliveries will take place in the first quarter of 2023, Yakovenko said.

“Wow,” Yakovenko repeated. With humor and perhaps awe, Yakovenko talked about the many “wow” moments that the Solana ecosystem has experienced over the past few years, but especially over the past 12 months. According to Nansen data shared by Yakovenko, Solana has over 21 million active monthly accounts.

This launch could take Solana to the tech big leagues, transforming her from just a crypto-centric world into one with Apple, Microsoft, and, of course, Android. A focus on providing more web3 options for mobile devices could also broaden the reach of the Solana ecosystem to mainstream audiences and could encourage other crypto-blockchains to do the same.

The announcement also comes at a difficult time for the crypto industry, which is facing a severe downturn in cryptocurrency prices. Yakovenko seems to understand that this device is not very popular, but sees it as something that could attract the most dedicated users of cryptography. “We target hardcore people who know what self-care is. You have to start with a group that loves this product and grow from there.”

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