IT company Emblaze launched its Else handset gambit late in 2009. Else hoped to engage users with a novel smartphone platform--a Linux-based OS developed in conjunction with Japanese software vendor Access that adhered to the LiMo Foundation's specifications--and bill for services via wireless carriers. The company's first device running on the platform--the First, manufactured by Japan's Sharp--was designed for one-handed use, and generally featured smooth navigation and intuitive controls.
Else made a splash with the device during the 2010 Mobile World Congress trade show. But the company's launch was extremely short lived: In June 2010, Emblaze announced it would discontinue the business.
"While there was encouraging interest in the device by potential partners, management was not able to confirm a deal on terms acceptable to Emblaze to proceed to the production of the device," Emblaze said in a London Stock Exchange regulatory filing at the time. "Due to critical delays in deliveries and the current status of the project, the board has now decided to cease any further investment towards manufacturing of the First Else mobile device and to concentrate efforts only on licensing the Else Intuition platform and technology in order to realize its potential upside."
The upshot? "This decision will drastically reduce the company's operational and development costs and will positively contribute to its route to profitability," Emblaze said.