In 2015, Nextbit generated some buzz when it announced its quest to produce a smartphone that makes full use of the cloud for storage purposes. Launched via Kickstarter, the phone maker was able to get the funding it needed and eventually went on to launch its $399 Robin smartphone. Not bad for a start up company hailing from the city of San Francisco in the Golden State.
Now, in order to make it easier for customers to purchase its Robin smartphone, the company is planning to open its online store next week on Thursday, February 18th of this year. But Scott Croyle, the chief design officer at Nextbit, is quick to warn interested buyers not to much too much, especially with regards to the supply. According to Croyle, there will only be 3,000 to 6,000 units of the Robin smartphone available. This is a far cry from the 13 million units of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices that Apple sold in the first three days of release of its newest iPhone models, but hey, you have to remember that Nextbit is only a small outfit after all.
Still, the act of opening an online store should be something to be celebrated, not only by Nextbit itself, but also for those phone makers struggling to introduce their products in the market. What makes Nextbit’s achievement so unique is that it chose not to go through a wireless carrier, which is remarkably considering that most mobile users now almost always go to a network provider to purchase a new smartphone. Nextbit is proof that you can independently launch your smartphone in the market if you plan carefully, and then execute it to perfection. Of course, it helped that Nextbit was founded by two former members of Google’s original Android team, specifically the crew behind the success of the HTC One smartphone.
The first batch of Robin smartphones will be shipped to early Kickstarter backers starting on Tuesday, February 16th of this year (as promised). The rest of the devices will be sold to the public via the online store starting on February 18th. Apart from serving as the venue for selling the Robin smartphone, the online store will offer three types of phone cases, plus display screen protectors and custom power cords. Note that the Robin smartphone uses a new USB Type C port as opposed to the regular Micro USB cable.
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