HTC to Release its First Blockchain Smartphone on March 1

Taiwanese mobile handset maker HTC is all set to release its first blockchain focused smartphone in the domestic market on March 1, 2019. Called HTC Exodus 1, the smartphone enjoys the distinction of the world’s first blockchain phone, and the company had already opened the pre-sales of the phone last year.  HTC was accepting only cryptocurrencies for pre-order sales, and prospective buyers had the option to pre-book the phone by using digital currencies like Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin. Along with the domestic market, HTC will also start exporting the shipments to other countries from the March 1 next month when the phone finally goes on sale. HTC has announced that the customers within the country and across the globe can buy Exodus 1 from its physical retail stores using conventional physical currencies.

Exodus 1 Specifications

Coming to the specifications of the smartphone, the Exodus 1 features a large 6-inch high definition (HD) display and boasts an impressive 6GB of RAM which is coupled with 128 GB of storage space. The phone will carry a price tag equivalent to $711 in the Taiwanese market. The initiative taken by HTC to launch a blockchain-focused has many implications. The move underlines the company’s intention to concentrate on emerging technologies and equip its products with the latest innovations. It also signifies the company’s resolve to effectively fend off the competitors who are gaining ground all around the world and pushing the company into oblivion. Market experts believe that the rising competition in the global marketplace where HTC is losing share to its competitors has mandated the company to adopt a new strategy wherein it has now shifted its focus on adopting innovations and offering them to the customers before the rivals do. The launch of a blockchain-focused smartphone is a part of this innovation-oriented strategy and company is expected to gain some ground out of this move.

Blockchain Technology

Just so you know, blockchain technology was initially invented for supporting the cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, but over the years it has spread its wings to a number of different domains including the financial technology, supply chain management, logistics control, automobile, energy, and power sector. The blockchain is also known as open ledger technology as it allows the storage of information in blocks which is shared among all the participating nodes. This sharing feature not only allows for more transparency and accountability but also minimizes the risk of fraudulent behavior, thereby, making the system more safe and secure.

Zion Crypto Wallet

HTC has also announced that the company has developed its own Zion cryptocurrency wallet. Divulging the details, the company said that the Exodus 1 would feature a secluded area on the phone’s chip which has been specifically designed to keep the cryptocurrency of the customer safe. The technology has been developed by holding of the SoftBank and HTC is confident that this feature will strike a chord with customers. The company has also tied up with the Opera browser which is the world’s first blockchain-compatible browser and hopeful that this collaboration will ensure that the safety and security of the users will not be compromised during web surfing and blockchain usage.

Of note is the fact that HTC is reeling under intense pressure as its margins continue to shrink not only in the high-end segment but also in the mid-range price category. Testimony to this observation is the consolidated sales revenue of HTC in 2018 which shrunk by 61.78% to $771 million. This is the seventh consecutive year when the company registered a loss and has forced the company to recalibrate its smartphone strategy.

Further, HTC recorded a loss of NT$3.18 per share in Q3 FY 2018-19 while this loss was pegged at NT$2.53 during the previous Q2 FY 2018-19, indicating that the situation was deteriorating fast and required urgent remedial measures. That said, HTC posted NT$20.01 earning per share owing to the profit it made by selling its ODM assets to Google in the first quarter of the FY 2018-19.

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