Solana Mobile to Sell Second Crypto Smartphone

The successor to Saga will have new hardware and a cheaper price point, according to a person familiar with the plans.

AccessTimeIconJan 16, 2024 at 1:23 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:59 p.m. UTC

Solana Mobile plans to launch a second smartphone as it looks to ride the unlikely success of its first crypto-ready smartphone, a person familiar with the matter said.

The upcoming phone will have the same basic features as its predecessor, called Saga: an onboard crypto wallet, custom Android software and a "dApp store" for crypto applications – but at a cheaper price point and with different hardware, the person said. The original phone cost $1000 when it first launched last year but later saw prices reduced amid struggling sales.

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  • The new Solana Mobile phone could help tamp down what's become a red-hot secondary market for the severely limited supply of existing Saga smartphones. At press time a factory-sealed Saga device was catching bids at $3,200 on eBay, five times more than its price five weeks ago.

    Back then Saga's backers were preparing to move on from their experimental phone, which had sought to create a mobile-first platform for crypto traders and NFT collectors but struggled to find a market big enough to justify its existence.

    That changed in an instant when crypto traders realized the phone came with an allocation of BONK tokens that more than covered the price of the device. In less than a week the Saga sold out.

    In the ensuing month Saga phones continued to yield dividends for their owners, with various projects airdropping lucrative tokens and NFT to the 15,000 phones in the wild. Those airdrops have bolstered the community around Saga and prompted more Solana developers to look into building mobile applications.

    A representative for Solana Mobile did not immediately return a request for comment.

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    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.