Solana Labs, the technology company behind the Solana blockchain, is launching a new subsidiary that will build mobile application technology and a web3 phone.
The company plans to make its entry into the telecoms industry through the launch of a purpose-built android phone for web3.
CEO Anatoly Yakovenko has a background in the industry having worked previously as a Qualcomm engineer. Speaking at an event in New York on Thursday to launch Solana Mobile, Yakovenko said “I think it’s time for crypto to go mobile”. In a subsequent press release, Yakovenko stated that the phone - named Saga - will set “a new standard for the web3 experience on mobile”.
Solana Mobile Stack (SMS)
Whilst Saga will be the flagship product for the new subsidiary, Solana Mobile, the company will also offer the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) - a framework for android developers. A $10 million developer fund has been put in place for building on SMS and Saga. A Solana dApp store has been established which developers can use without any fees.
Priced at $1,000, the phone is already available for pre-order with a $100 deposit, and a delivery expectation of Q1, 2023. Originally designed by electronics manufacturer Osom as the OV1, the phone is being renamed and repurposed. Sporting a 6.67” 120Hz OLED display, the spec includes 512GB of storage, 12GB of RAM, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip and a 50 megapixel camera.
From a crypto perspective, the phone will include a seed vault which securely stores the user’s private keys and seeds. The vault is protected by a hardware security module which isolates keys from android and solana applications.
It will also include a mobile wallet adapter which allows wallets to sign transactions in web3 applications using a user’s keys in conjunction with the seed vault. This is important from a user experience perspective. Applications that currently access web3 are largely browser-based, limiting the user experience as a direct result.
Taking Web3 mobile
Solana Labs sees the integrated seed vault as a foundational technology for developers building on SMS. Solana co-founder Raj Gokal said that “opening up crypto to mobile will lead to greater adoption, better understanding, and more opportunities”.
A crypto-phone is not a new concept. Back in 2018, Sirin Labs launched its blockchain smartphone. Yakovenko claims that developer activity in the blockchain space has grown considerably since then. On that basis, he believes that this will lead to greater engagement and the building out of mobile applications that will enhance user experience in web3.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.