HTC made announcements on Tuesday, October 23rd that its Blockchain-based phone, Exodus 1, is available for preorder. And HTC is throwing out a never-before-seen requirement in the smartphone arena – anyone purchasing the smartphones must buy the Exodus 1 using either of today’s most popular cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin or Ether.
Since 2004, Taiwanese electronics company HTC jumped onto the smartphone train and has struggled with sustaining their ride. Their unprecedented rise, aided by their overall design and Sense user interface, was followed by a sharp drop in which HTC fell behind the shadows of mobile giants such as Apple, Samsung, and Sony. The company has experienced such abysmal rankings in the smartphone world lately that in July 2018, Tech Crunch called HTC “gone.”
Now, HTC is recapturing the consumer attention it once had. HTC’s Exodus 1 has a secure shelter that keeps individual devices safe and separate from the Android operating system (OS). The tech was created by SoftBank’s Arm Holdings and was designed to keep customers’ cryptocurrency safe. And to tie it all together, the Taiwanese smartphone maker has also developed a cryptocurrency wallet, Zion, to enable the Exodus 1 to act as a hardware cryptocurrency wallet. Phil Chen, HTC’s Decentralised Chief Officer, remarked that the benefits of keeping this part of the phone separate are that Google’s OS is “fundamentally insecure with a centralized system,” making user funds vulnerable to hackers.
He went on to say that Blockchain integration will help to protect users’ data, identity, and it will help strengthen the security and privacy of assets.
This new Blockchain-based phone is the bigger part of HTC’s reprioritisation strategy which is focusing heavily on intellectual property and software. “The dominant companies in our world today are Google and Facebook, and in China, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, because they basically own all our data. And the reason why you do a blockchain phone is… for everybody to just 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.”
Apart from Blockchain technology and decentralised apps and programs that operate via the Blockchain, the Exodus 1 boasts an exciting array of features, including a 16 megapixel duel main camera and an 8 megapixel dual front camera with 4K video, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, six gigabytes of RAM and 128GB storage, and a six-inch display with quad-HD+ resolution.
Preorders for the Exodus 1 are available for consumers at a price of 0.15 Bitcoins or 4.78 Ether tokens, which, at the time of this writing, translates to approximately $960. The phones are expected to be shipped in December.