What will be the next step for smartphones? No one knows for sure, but more and more telephone companies are fully committed to new technologies such as NFTs, metaverse and web3.
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More and more smartphones are betting on NFTs
At the beginning of this year, almost all media suddenly talked about NFTs. Nft stands for non-fungible token, which is a non-replaceable token. In short, an NFT is a digital certificate attached to a digital object. Think, for example, of a picture, animation, video or even a tweet.
Based on this ‘digital receipt’, you can prove that you are the rightful owner or creator of this digital object. The evidence is publicly (and therefore publicly) stored in a so-called blockchain. These registers record exactly how and when NFTs are traded.
Because the registers are set up decentrally, the digital receipts are stored worldwide. So you can always and everywhere check who the rightful owner of a digital work of art, video or logo is.
70 million for a picture
Although NFTs have been around for at least 2014, they have only really become popular in the last year and a half. This is probably related to the madness that has arisen due to the high amounts deposited to NFT works of art. The art project ‘Everyday: The First 5000 Days;’ for example, sold for nearly $ 70 million in early 2021.
NFTs are part of a wider range of new technologies, such as metaverse and web3. This ‘next phase’ of the Internet is currently in full development and, according to proponents, is about decentralization. Internet users would take ownership of their files instead of giant technology companies. In the article below, we explain exactly what web3 means.
Also read: Web3 is coming: that means it for your smartphone
A practical example is that in the future scenario with web3, one is no longer dependent on large parties, such as Facebook or YouTube, but that the social media or video website is owned by the community. The big promise is that creatives will make (more) money on their work and become (and remain) full owners.
Time will tell whether web3 will actually be the future, or whether it will remain a matter of scenarios and hypes. Still, more and more technology companies are getting on the web3 train, including phone manufacturers.
HTC makes metaverse smartphones
It’s HTC too. This company was once a major player in the phone market, and in our opinion, the HTC One M7 (from 2013) is one of the most iconic smartphones ever. The company has since fallen from the throne. However, they are trying to recover by focusing on new technologies, with the Desire 22 Pro as the latest example.
This device appeared at the end of last month and is marketed as the “Metaverse Smartphone”. For example, the Desire 22 Pro comes standard with the Vive Wallet. You need this digital wallet to buy NFTs through Vive Arts NFT Store, HTC’s own digital artwork store.
Users can also get started with an app to trade cryptocurrencies, and buyers have a chance to win an NFT from HTC. Furthermore, the Desire 22 Pro can handle Vive Flow, HTC’s own virtual reality glasses.
The Taiwanese company claims to have made a unique phone for the future, but critics disagree. They point out that virtually all the features of the Desire 22 Pro are non-exclusive. For example, the Vive Wallet app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Vive Flow glasses also work on other Android phones – provided they have 5G.
The first Nothing nft
Nothing also sees a future in NFTs. This new smartphone maker – founded by Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus – recently released its first phone, Nothing Phone (1). To celebrate the release, a playful nft campaign was devised for enthusiasts and early investors in the company. They could buy a so-called Black Dot to celebrate the release of the Phone (1).
This is an NFT of a video clip where you see a transparent, moving dice with – yes – a black dot in. Black Dot NFT owners also had a chance to win exclusive prizes and early access to Nothing events, such as the launch of A new phone.
Although the animation is well made and the design matches the minimalist design of Nothing products, many people wondered what NFT has to do with phones.
Solana Saga: The first Web3 phone
That does not apply to the Solana saga. This “web3 phone” is set to be released in 2023 and is being developed by Solana, a popular blockchain and cryptocurrency (much like Bitcoin). The $ 1000 Android phone focuses exclusively on the world of web3, NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
Basically, the Solana Saga is an Android phone, but with some tweaks here and there. Logically, all kinds of apps are pre-installed, allowing users to trade Solana cryptocurrencies (via SolanaPay). It is also possible to download decentralized apps (so-called dApps), and the phone has its own secure safe for storing files.
Also worth mentioning is the Solana Mobile Stack, or SMS. This software is made by Solana and aimed at (app) developers who want to make web3 applications for phones. According to Solana, SMS can be seen as a “crypto layer over Android”. In the long run, for example, SMS should ensure that you no longer need a computer to buy NFTs, but that the whole process works just as well on a phone.
The Solana Saga can be pre-ordered for $ 1,000 and is expected to be released in 2023. The Android device has a 6.67-inch screen, fast Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip and 12GB of RAM. It is not clear which Android version Solana Saga is running on.
Vertu: Buy a nft, get a phone
As is clear, most phone manufacturers rely on software. For example, they want to make it as easy as possible to trade NFTs and get started with web3, by unblocking and pre-installing apps for this by default.
There are also companies that take a completely different approach, such as Vertu. You may know this company from its exclusive, hugely expensive smartphones. Vertu makes smartphones that are decorated with real gold and can cost up to 30,000 euros.
However, the company is also fully committed to web3. Just look at the Vertu Constellation X Ulm. This exclusive smartphone is only available with the purchase of an NFT. Anyone who buys one of the (total) 10,555 digital certificates has the right to hand in their ‘receipt’ for a ‘real’ physical phone: Vertu Constellation X Ulm.
You can also keep nft. In that case, you get access to the so-called Vertuverse, Vertu’s own “web3 community”. You then have a chance to win exclusive gifts and cash prizes (up to a maximum of $ 100,000). NFT for the special Vertu smartphone costs $ 5175.
More on the future of the Internet
on Android Planet we write regularly about new technologies. For example, read our explanatory articles on the metaverse and web3. You have also come to the right place for analysis. For example, read our column on web3, which is still currently exceeding its target.