Solana Labs, the company behind the Solana (SOL) blockchain, will launch an Android phone for the network next year.
Saga will feature crypto wallet functions and Solana Mobile Stack, a mobile SDK for Web3 apps.
The phone should also have direct access to a Web3 store for dapps (decentralised, blockchain-powered apps) and an integrated Solana Pay function that allows QR code payments. The Solana Foundation is creating a $10m fund “to promote mobile dapps.”
Mobile wallet adapter and seed vault are other crypto-themed features.
The device will come with Saga Pass, which Solana Labs calls a non-fungible token (NFT). This NFT will be the “first ticket to community governance of Solana Mobile Stack,” the company said.
Anatoly Yakovenko, CEO of Solana Labs, said “crypto should go mobile”
He lamented that crypto users must still use desktop devices and almost-obsolete hardware, suggesting the new phone would solve these problems. Yakovenko:
Installing a browser extension and plugging in a thumb drive is still the best way to interact with crypto.
Solana Labs is partnering with FTX, Magic Eden, StepN, Phantom, and Orca to release the phone.
According to The Verge, Osom, maker of the Essential Phone, is developing the phone. Osom confirmed that the Saga is a modified version of the 2020-announced OV1 smartphone.
The report suggested that problems could help the rollout:
“The real test will be whether the Saga ships in early 2023 as Solana and Osom claim. If a product like this has a market beyond the auditorium of Web3 fans who cheered its introduction.
Even experienced phone makers like HTC have tried crypto and blockchain but failed, the report said.
Android Police called Osom’s “hotly-anticipated smartphone” “crypto gimmicks.”
Osom’s CEO Jason Keats said:
“Web3 needs innovative hardware companies.” Building a future-looking ecosystem without legacy ecosystems is exciting.”
Pre-orders are available, but require “refundable” USD 100 deposits via the Solana network.
SOL trades at USD 38, up 6% in a day and 27% in a week. SOL’s monthly decline is 23%.