As reported by Re/code, Nextbit has revealed that it will no longer be pushing ahead with its plans to build a CDMA version of its Robin smartphone. Moreover, the company has also decided that it will no longer be developing a handset that will function on the networks of major US wireless carriers Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
In autumn of last year, Nextbit was able to raise almost a million dollars during the first 10 days of its Kickstarter campaign to build its Robin handset. For those still not familiar with Robin, it is an Android powered mobile device that has the ability to free up storage space by automatically moving saved data to the cloud.
Initially, Nextbit’s original plan was only to provide support for the LTE bands of two major wireless carriers, specifically, AT&T and T-Mobile. But after recognizing interest from subscribers of Verizon Wireless, the company was encouraged to begin developing a version of its Robin smartphone that works on CDMA networks.
However, because of slow carrier testing processes and other challenges encountered, those plans have been thrown right out the window. According to Tom Moss, the chief executive officer of Nextbit, the company had expressed doubts about what it was told with regards to the challenges in seeking the approval of Verizon Wireless in order to have the Robin handset work on its wireless carrier’s network.
Nextbit had launched its Robin smartphone in the United States mobile market in February early this year, positioning the mobile device as a handset that will never run out of storage space. This is made possible because Robin can alert the mobile users when its 32 gigabyte of local cloud storage approaches full capacity, and then proceeds to pick which photos and mobile apps are least used, and then uploads that content to the cloud whenever it can connect to a Wi-Fi network.
The release of the device was met with acclaim, and seizing the moment, Nextbit’s next step was to go ahead with its plans of selling some 3,000 to 6,000 units of its Robin smartphone. As for its aborted plans for building a CMDA version, this will probably not affect the company’s production output targets that much. But if the Robin smartphone turns out to be a hit, Nextbit may find itself wondering if choosing not to let its device available on Verizon Wireless and Sprint may have been the right decision.
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