Smartphone Archives -
Two years after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm Inc., unleashing a series of existential challenges to the chipmaker’s business model, the company is about to get its chance to square the record.
Lawyers for the regulatory agency and the company are set to begin presenting arguments…
Electronics manufacturer Samsung has filed a trademark that suggests it may be considering integrating a cryptocurrency wallet into its smartphones. The filing, submitted to the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on Dec. 27, reinforces reports that emerged earlier this month claiming that cryptocurrency integration was on Samsung’s agenda.
South Korean Giant Files UK Trademark
Speculation is growing that Samsung may be on the brink of launching a cryptocurrency-equipped smartphone. The filing of a trademark on Dec. 27, following weeks of rumors, has added weight to the notion that Samsung has cryptocurrency on its roadmap, and that a built-in wallet may be the next feature to be added to its flagship phones, which retail for up to $ 750. Simply titled “Samsung Crypto Wallet,” trademark UK00003363431 doesn’t reveal much by way of detail, but its name is unambiguous enough.
As a result of the filing, cryptocurrency users will be left with two pressing questions:
1. Is Samsung developing a standalone hardware wallet or an integrated smartphone wallet?
2. Has the trademark been filed defensively or offensively? In other words, does Samsung have any intention of actually developing the device in the near future?
It is common practice for corporations to prolifically file patents and register trademarks, even though only a handful of these will result in a product being brought to market. Indeed, on the same say the Samsung Crypto Wallet trademark was approved, another 42 trademarks from the Asian electronics manufacturer were also filed in the U.K.
Blockchain Smartphones Are Proliferating
With each new iteration of smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone, technical improvements become less discernible and new features less frequent. Integrating a cryptocurrency wallet, with its private key stored in a secure enclave separate from the rest of the phone’s core operations, gives manufacturers an opportunity to distinguish their handsets from the competition. It also gives cryptocurrency users a new gadget to lust after. To date, however, so-called blockchain phones have been underwhelming.
Sirin’s Finney smartphone has been derided in some quarters for its clunky design and mediocre features when compared to those of high-end phones. The HTC Exodus smartphone, meanwhile, backed by cryptocurrency figures such as Charlie Lee, was meant to ship this month, but has yet to deliver. The bar for blockchain phones, therefore, sits pretty low. Should Samsung throw its hat into the ring and attempt its own crypto-equipped smartphone, it would stand a very good chance of becoming the most popular device of its kind.
Do you think Samsung is developing a cryptocurrency-equipped smartphone? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Samsung Files UK Trademark for Smartphone Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Could you go a year without your smartphone? If so, there may be some money in it for you. Vitamin Water this week announced a #nophoneforayear contest, Fox2 reports. The winner will get $ 100,000. Here’s the gist of it from Vitamin Water : “You may not use any smartphone for…
On Nov. 29, Sirin Labs announced the commercial launch of its new blockchain smartphone known as the Finney. According to the cellphone creators, the Finney offers “secure and state of the art mobile technology” alongside an embedded cold storage cryptocurrency wallet.
People Can Now Preorder the Finney Smartphone
Sirin Labs has launched its flagship product the Finney phone, a mobile device named after the late Bitcoin developer Hal Finney. News.Bitcoin.com originally reported on the Finney phone back in May when it was revealed that Foxconn, the company that manufactures iPhones, helped Sirin Labs produce the new blockchain mobile device. This week, Sirin Labs announced the phone can now be purchased on the company’s official website for $ 999 and the product will also join the Amazon Launchpad program in January.
According to the phone’s specifications, the mobile device has a 6-inch touchscreen display and is powered by an octa-core processor with 6GB of RAM. Finney runs on an operating system called Sirin OS, which is a fork of the Oreo software Android 8.1. The cryptocurrency features within the phone can be seen by using a second touchscreen that’s attached to the phone’s body. Sirin has explained that this is how the Finney device’s extra layer of security works because when the pop-up screen is used, all actions performed by the Sirin OS are encrypted. The Finney creators state that the second touchscreen has a firewall between the main operating system and claims the process makes the phone much harder to compromise. The cryptocurrency side-software has a program known as token conversion service (TCS) so the mobile phone’s owners can swap coins like BTC and ETH.
Additionally, the phone has a 12-megapixel rear camera and a selfie camera with a design that’s very similar to the Solarin phone. The Solarin is another design created by Sirin Labs, but the Solarin carbon titanium 128GB version is a whopping $ 13,800 plus tax. The Finney model also comes with 128GB of storage and can be expanded upon with a micro-SD card. Lastly, the mobile device accepts a nano-SIM and can connect to traditional Bluetooth, NFC, and wifi networks. “Sirin Labs is also looking for strategic OEMs to implement Sirin OS in additional consumer devices,” the Barcelona-based company explained on Thursday.
The Finney Smartphone Has a Competitor
The new Finney cellphone is not the only mobile device specifically designed for blockchain security. Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) is also producing a cryptocurrency-centric phone. HTC has said the new “blockchain-powered” product will use a modified version of the Android operating system. The HTC Exodus 1 is also available for preorder on its website by reserving the phone with either BTC or ETH funds. At the moment the HTC Exodus 1 is priced at around 0.15 BTC or roughly $ 600 at the time of publication.
With the new Finney phone launch, Sirin Labs has explained that the company is planning to open two flagship concept stores so the public can get an inside glimpse at the blockchain mobile device. According to the Finney manufacturer, the first concept store will open in London in December of this year and then another location in Tokyo in January of 2019. Sirin Labs emphasized during the announcement that the London store will also act as a blockchain academy for individuals in the community looking to learn about cryptocurrency solutions.
What do you think about the Sirin Labs produced Finney phone? Let us know what you think about blockchain-centric mobile devices in the comments section below.
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Images via Sirin Labs, the Finney phone, and HTC.
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The post Sirin Labs Launches Blockchain-Centric ‘Finney’ Smartphone appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Samsung Electronics revealed a foldable-screen smartphone that folds like a book and opens up to tablet size.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
HTC, the struggling Taiwanese phone-maker, has launched a smartphone that can be bought only with BTC or ETH. Called the Exodus 1, the smartphone is blockchain-integrated and features a cryptocurrency wallet built into a secure enclave of the device.
HTC Sells Its New Cryptocurrency Wallet-Enabled Phone for 0.15 BTC
Initially announced in May, the Exodus 1 phone was unveiled in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 22. The handset will retail for 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH in early access deals, which is equivalent to $ 960. First shipments are expected in December, the company said.
“Exodus 1 is a foundational element of the crypto internet,” Phil Chen, HTC’s ‘decentralized chief officer’, said in a statement on the company’s website. “For digital assets and decentralized apps to reach their potential, we believe mobile will need to be the main point of distribution.”
Built into the Exodus 1 is a cryptocurrency wallet called Zion, which was developed by HTC to serve as a hardware virtual currency wallet. Chen said the wallet runs from a secure enclave on the phone’s chip, separate from the Android operating system, to safeguard digital coins. He underscored the importance of keeping this area of the phone separated from Android because Google’s operating system was “fundamentally insecure with a centralized system,” exposing users’ funds to theft by attackers.
“Think of [the enclave] as a micro OS that runs in parallel with Android,” CNBC quoted Chen as saying. “It basically is a wallet, but the wallet, what it does is hold your private keys.” Chen added: “The reason why you do a blockchain phone is … for everybody just to own their own keys. Everything starts there. When you start owning your own keys, then you can start owning your own digital identity, then you can start to own data.”
Cryptocurrency-Only Pricing to Bring Device to Its Core Audience
HTC’s new phone will run decentralized applications (dapps). It also features a Social Key Recovery function that helps users “regain access to their funds if they lose their private key via a select number of trusted contacts.”
“Selling [the phone] in crypto only and being the first to do so means we are bringing this directly to the core audience and those who will want this device – the blockchain community,” Chen told the South China Morning Post. He added:
It reflects our belief in cryptocurrencies – in fact we had to recreate and overcome many processes internally, as well as find new distributors, so that we can achieve the goal of only accepting cryptocurrencies as the form of payment.
Exodus 1 will be available in 34 countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries. However, the phone will not be available in China, which has taken a strict approach to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
More Companies Looking to Enter Blockchain Smartphone Market
HTC, which at one time was among the top manufacturers of smartphones in the world, is not the only company to try and offer a blockchain-focused phone.
Switzerland-based start-up Sirin Labs is currently accepting orders for its $ 999 smartphone, whose shipping has been delayed from October. Chinese information communication technologies firms such as Lenovo Group and Sichuan Changhong Electric have previously announced plans for a blockchain phone, but provided no details.
Earlier this month, Indonesia-based startup Pundi X unveiled its blockchain-powered handset called Xphone which, unlike HTC and Sirin Labs’ devices, can operate on its own blockchain-based transmission protocol, independently of mobile carriers.
Aside from running dapps, Exodus 1 also comes with numerous features found on regular flagship smartphones such as dual rear cameras and a six-inch Quad HD+ display.
What do you think about HTC’s new smartphone? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post HTC’s New Blockchain Smartphone Can Be Bought With Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.
See something out in the world that you want to buy? Now you can just Snap it up.
Santa Monica’s Snap Inc. announced a partnership with Amazon on Monday that will enable users to point their smartphone cameras at a pair of shoes, the barcode on the bottom of a shampoo bottle, or any other object…
Shares in Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which raised $ 4.7 billion in one of Hong Kong’s largest tech initial public offerings in recent years, fell on their debut as the broader market rose.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
With HTC entering the race, a second cryptocurrency supporting smartphone created by a major electronics manufacturer is now on its way to the market. Could this be the start of a trend by all device makers to embed features such as hardware wallets into phones to help increase sales among more tech savvy consumers?
Exodus From Fiat to Crypto
Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer High Tech Computer Corporation or HTC (TWSE: 2498), will release its own cryptocurrency-focused smartphone. The company has announced it is developing a “blockchain-powered” device that will be based on Google’s Android operating system which will be named Exodus.
The phone is expected to contain a universal wallet and a “built-in secure hardware enclave” supporting cryptocurrencies and dapps (decentralized applications). HTC reportedly also wants to create its own network with each phone serving as a node to facilitate trading within it. Finally, the company is examining the possibility of selling the device for cryptocurrency as well. “Through Exodus, we are excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Lightning Networks, Ethereum, Dfinity, and more,” Phil Chen who is responsible for the development told Thenextweb. “We would like to support the entire blockchain ecosystem, and in the next few months we’ll be announcing many more exciting partnerships together.”
Cryptocurrency Support as Killer App
If you follow the electronics market carefully, you must know that HTC has not been doing so well in recent years despite creating some great devices. In that context it is possible to imagine that the company is betting on a cryptophone to give it a more edgy brand to attract privacy-minded young people and the more tech savvy crowd. However, other companies have explored the field before HTC and it is thus possible that many more will soon feature built-in cryptocurrency support in their devices.
Earlier this month we reported on the technical details that have emerged about Sirin Finney, an ultra secure mobile device promising to keep your cryptocurrency transactions private. The phone will feature an embedded cold storage wallet, and will be built by the same company that builds the iPhone, Foxconn. And back in March of this year, the Chinese smartphone maker Huawei was rumored to be in serious talks with Sirin Labs about the device too.
How long until all new phones will support crypto as default? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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