In 2018 HTC launched the HTC Exodus 1, a blockchain-powered phone that ran on the popular software technology. Now it looks like HTC is gearing up to release a second HTC Exodus handset – but we're not sure how popular blockchain-based systems are in 2019.
According to DigiTimes (opens in new tab) Phil Chen (HTC's 'auteur' phone-maker, not the bassist), has plans to release a HTC Exodus 1 successor, which we're tentatively labelling the HTC Exodus 2, by the end of the year.
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However there's been a big change in the blockchain scene over the past year, and HTC could have a hard time getting large numbers of consumers to invest in a blockchain phone.
The HTC Exodus 1 was a phone of its time...
The HTC Exodus 1 was one of the world's first blockchain-powered phones, jumping on the blockchain bandwagon. Although the cryptocurrency crash had started, blockchain still had a fairly respected reputation.
As one of the most well-known systems powered by blockchain, cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, are often conflated with the software it runs on.
Fans of crypto and other blockchain-based systems embraced the HTC Exodus 1, which HTC says met sales expectations, despite its high price of around $1000 / £770 / AU$1420 (its actual price was in bitcoin or Ethereum, which fluctuates quite a bit).
But then 2018 ended, and crypto continued to crash – now, in the eyes of general consumers, all blockchain-based tech is tainted, and so HTC is going to have an uphill battle getting people interested in its new phone.
...but would an HTC Exodus miss the boat?
Fans of cryptocurrency or other blockchain-based systems are still going to find the HTC Exodus an intriguing device – but it seems the number of those fans is slowly declining the further the crypto crash progresses.
Of course a handset based on such a complicated, and rather niche, piece of tech won't appeal to many non-tech-savvy consumers, so it's not like the HTC Exodus 2 has such a huge built-in audience that it can afford to alienate buyers.
By the sounds of it, Chen doesn't plan to release the HTC Exodus 2 until late 2019, so it's entirely possible the crypto market will have recovered by then – but for now, we're not sure how much sense another blockchain-powered phone makes at this point.