Razer obtains Nextbit – the makers of the cloud-focused Robin smartphone
Razer is an American company founded by Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff, and headquartered in San Francisco, California, which specializes in products marketed specifically to gamers. Razer is dedicated to the creation and development of products mainly focused on PC gaming such as laptops, tablet computer, various PC peripherals, wearables, and accessories. Razer announced the acquisition of Nextbit Systems, maker of the Nextbit Robin Smartphone. The announcement came in a press release.
Nextbit was a startup company that built a phone around a cloud feature that would allow seamless usage of apps and content that transcended between phone’s on-board storage and a complimentary cloud service, automatically.
This phone would be called the Nextbit Robin. The company’s initial Kick Starter goal of $500,000 was smashed with a final pledge amount of around $1.3 million.
The company’s first smartphone was successful after generating decent sales in the crowded smartphone market, and surprisingly it even landed up in the India.
The Nextbit Robin began shipping to customers, the company is being acquired by Razer. Yet Razer has been making some smart and interesting moves into the Android space. Now with the purchase of Nextbit Systems, along with the purchase of the Ouya brand in 2015, the company is now well setup to tap into the lucrative android market.
However, now the company got acquired by the U.S based Gaming PC maker, Razer Inc. With this acquisition, Razer now diversifies its product category by adding smartphones. Nextbit also mentioned that it will remain as an independent entity and has its own product support and software updates. The company will no longer sell the Nextbit Robin smartphone via its own channels but offers the security updates until February 2018. As a Razer company, Nextbit will be ended up with more resources for the development side, and its upcoming devices will reach much wider audiences.
“Nextbit is one of the most exciting companies in the mobile space,” says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan, also added, “Razer has a track record of disrupting industries where our technology and ability to design and innovate have allowed us to dominate categories with longstanding incumbents, such as the peripherals and laptop categories. With the talent that Nextbit brings to Razer, we look forward to unleashing more disruption and growing our business in new areas”
While there is no clear word on what Razer has planned for the fledgling smartphone maker, as of right now Razer has stated they are looking to keep things as they are. Nextbit will cease sales of the Robin Smartphone, but will support the platform and software for the next six months.
“In order to reach a wider audience and continue our mission, we decided to join with a larger brand,” says Tom Moss, Nextbit Systems Inc. co-founder and CEO. “We’re lucky to have found a company in Razer that shares our value of pushing the boundaries of what our devices can do.”
It is unclear if Razer is interested in making the leap into the smartphone world, while the company has focused on their game market first, the mobile space is one that has the potential for growth.
Nextbit was founded by former members of Google’s Android team, along with the former design head at HTC. Robin was powered by Nextbit OS, a custom version of Android. It’s biggest selling point was that it integrates with cloud-based services and functionality. In fact the company claimed the phone “intelligently archives” your content and learns how you use the phone.
You may still able to purchase the Nextbit Robin smartphone in India. Flipkart is selling the phone for Rs 19,999. But it’s not clear if the cloud services will be available after the support ends.