Nextbit has killed plans to make a CDMA version of its Robin smartphone, Re/code reported, and will no longer develop a phone that will work on the networks of Verizon and Sprint.
Nextbit raised nearly $1 million last fall in the first 10 days of a Kickstarter campaign to build Robin, an Android phone that frees up space by automatically transferring content to the cloud. The company initially planned to support only the LTE bands of AT&T and T-Mobile, but interest from Verizon Wireless customers prompted the company to start developing a CDMA model.
Those plans have been scrapped, though, due to slow carrier-testing processes and other challenges, according to Re/code. CEO Tom Moss said in a note to supporters that the company wasn't "sufficiently doubtful of what we were told" regarding the challenges in gaining Verizon's approval for the device's use on its network.
A $400 phone designed to never run out of memory, the Nextbit came to market last month in the U.S. to generally positive reviews. The device alerts the user when its 32 GB of local cloud storage nears capacity, identifies which photos and apps are accessed the least, then uploads that content to the cloud when a Wi-Fi connection is available.
Nextbit initially plans to sell only 3,000 to 6,000 Robins, so the decision not to pursue a CDMA version isn't likely to hinder the company's modest goals out of the gate. If the Robin is a success, though, Nextbit may reconsider supporting half of the nation's major carriers.
- see this Re/code report
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