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Nextbit to become an Android phone maker
San Francisco-based startup Nextbit has announced the surprise decision to switch from software and services to making an Android phone. The company currently counts Scott Croyle – former chief of design at HTC, who joined Nextbit last year – among its employees and Croyle is teasing a provocative design for its first smartphone:
“We want to set this off as something different. We don’t have to be for everybody.”
Nextbit is more commonly known for its cloud suite that allows the contents of phones to be mirrored on the cloud-based servers, which allows users to not only move between apps but easily move their place within apps between multiple devices. While this is something that iOS manages relatively well – and even more so when using iCloud backup – this hasn’t yet been achieved on Android and this could be one feature that sets the Nextbit smartphone apart from the competition.
Nextbit’s decision to move into Android hardware will certainly come as a surprise given the company only has employs 20 people; while this number of employees was ideal for the nimble nature of the startup, its hardware ambitions could require a massive recruitment drive, especially considering it will go head to head with rivals that have thousands of employees. It does have some experience in the mobile industry thanks to a previous partnership with Cyanogen but it remains to be seen how unique the Nextbit smartphone will actually be.
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As Chinese manufacturer OnePlus showed with the launch of its OnePlus One smartphone last year (and the OnePlus 2 today), a newcomer to the industry can be successful if it is different and unique in its approach. Will Nextbit be able to do the same? We shall soon find out as Nextbit promises to reveal more about the phone and how it will be sold in the coming weeks and naturally, we’ll bring you more information when we have it.