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WileyFox beats the odds: Support will continue, new phones coming
- WileyFox entered arbitration earlier this year, which seemed like it would be the end of the upstart company.
- However, another British phone maker signed a licensing deal with WileyFox, ensuring updates to existing devices and new phones coming soon.
- While the latest phones from WileyFox are out of stock on its site, STK promises that will be updated within the next two weeks.
In early February 2018, we sadly reported that WileyFox, the U.K. upstart company that promised low-priced smartphones with high-end specs, had entered administration, which is the U.K. equivalent of bankruptcy here in the United States. For a company that’s had more than its fair share of issues since it burst onto the scene in 2015, the news seemed like its death knell.
However, TechRadar reported today that not only will WileyFox continue to support devices that are currently under warranty, but new handsets from the company are coming soon.
It turns out another British smartphone manufacturer called STK signed a licensing deal with WileyFox. STK will sell WileyFox phones like the Swift 2, Swift 2 Plus, and Swift 2 X in the U.K., Europe, and South Africa. It will also work with WileyFox to develop and release new phones.
Henri Salameh, STK’s Commercial Director, said, “What we saw was a good opportunity to not only to continue the production of the WileyFox handsets and reinstate after-sale and warranty support but also to save jobs in U.K. and Europe while merging two strong U.K. brands together to operate under one roof.”
The word “merge” is probably not the correct one to use, as Mr. Salameh went on to say that the WileyFox brand will remain separate from STK. It appears this is more of a mutually beneficial partnership, as STK is relatively unknown (the company has six smartphones for sale, none of which Android Authority has reviewed) and WileyFox has a ton of press behind it.
Current owners of the Swift 2 range of phones will be delighted to learn that their warranties will remain in effect, their devices will receive an upgrade to Android 8.1 Oreo, and they will eventually have access to STK’s 24/7 customer support service via the STK Care app. According to STK, the Android 8.1 update will land within the next three weeks, which is awfully fast for a company that is still, technically, in arbitration.
As of right now, WileyFox phones are entirely sold out on its website. However, Mr. Salameh confirmed that updates to the site are coming “in the next two weeks.” So if you’re looking to jump into the WileyFox ecosystem now that we know the company isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, keep an eye out in April to grab a Swift 2 for yourself.