We do everything on smartphones, from calling to watching movies on OTT. The device has become like an extension of our bodies. It would be hard to overstate how important smartphones have become in our lives.
From the beginning, mobile phones have always been a great tool to reach a wider audience, particularly mainstream adoption. Therefore, to increase the rate of adoption, be it app, technology, software, or hardware, integrating it with a smartphone is a wise idea.
And that’s what has been happening in recent years. For example, include banking apps, share trading apps, ticket booking, and filmmaking. Joining the revolution is the latest technology around the Internet – Web3.
Various companies are working on making Web3 accessible to the masses. To add to the expanding Web3 space, a major cryptocurrency, Solana Labs, announced its first smartphone – Saga, under its subsidiary Solana Mobile at an event in New York today.
Based on the Android platform, the flagship phone is tightly integrated with the Solana blockchain making it easy and secure to transact in web3 and manage digital assets, such as tokens and NFTs.
What is Web3?
Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood 2014 coined the term – Web3. With Web3, everyone has an opportunity to have an equal say in how the internet is run.
Rather than being controlled by a few major corporations, Web3 gives users the chance to own their digital content and transact safely with one another. This means users can finally reap the benefits of their online activity, rather than having it all go to a few prominent companies.
With Web3, the internet is more democratic, and users have the power to shape their online experience.
According to the report, the global Web3 market is expected to reach $81.5B in 2030 at a CAGR of 43.7%.
The report says increased transparency and high data security, increasing traction of NFT payments and digital collectibles, and rising investment in R&D initiatives by major market players are some of the key factors driving revenue growth of the global Web3 market.
What are Web3 smartphones?
Dominated by Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and BBK electronics, the smartphone market is one tough nut to crack.
First, considering the competition, it is certainly not an easy path for Solana and other upcoming Web3 smartphone manufacturers to make a mark. Secondly, the overall adoption of Web3 has been slow to date.
However, when it comes to technology, it is better to concentrate on the positive aspects, opening up new possibilities.
Web3 smartphones are similar to standard smartphones in terms of look and feel, but the difference lies in the built-in hardware crypto wallet.
The wallet will ensure all credentials, including passwords, photos, and cryptocurrency keys, are safe and protected. In addition, the wallets provides an additional layer of security for users’ data as they are less susceptible to data breaches and hacks.
Further, these phones will have dApps (Decentralised Apps) running on public, P2P networks rather than tech companies’ private servers.
As of now, very few smartphone manufacturers are making inroads into the Web3 infrastructure. However, Samsung US recently launched its official Discord server to support its Web3 and NFT activities.
Chinese handset maker Huawei is also exploring options on Web3 with Harmony, Huawei Cloud, and Huawei Pay. In addition, as we mentioned above, Solana recently announced a new phone, Saga, at an event in New York.
What is Solana?
Solana is an open-source project based on blockchain technology to provide decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions. Launched officially in 2020, the company is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The platform aims to improve blockchain scalability by combining proof of stake consensus and proof of history.
Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, almost 7B people use smartphones globally, and more than 100M people hold digital assets. The Solana Saga aims to set a new standard for the Web3 experience on mobile.
And you know what? Solana Saga is the OSOM OV1, a privacy-centric phone from the company that grew out of Essential, but with a slightly different paint job and the blockchain company’s web3 software stack.
“Saga starts from principles to create a mobile experience for individuals, developers, and ecosystem participants that opens a new era of mobility,” says Jason Keats, co-founder and CEO of OSOM.
He adds, “The world needs novel hardware to embrace the future web3, and building an ecosystem that looks to the future without being burdened by past legacy ecosystems is hugely exciting for us.”
Solana Mobile Stack (SMS)
Besides the smartphones, the company has also introduced Solana Mobile Stack, a framework for Android providing a new set of libraries for wallets and apps, allowing developers to create rich mobile experiences on Solana.
The SDK provides libraries and programming interfaces for Android apps and secure key private storage, simplifying the developer experience to build and extend dApps functionality for Solana.
The initial features of the Solana Mobile Stack SDK include — Mobile Wallet Adapter, Seed Vault, and Solana Pay for Android.
Solana Saga specification
Solana Saga sports a 6.67-inch OLED display, 12GB RAM, 512GB storage, and is powered by a flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform.
With a Secure Element built into the device, the Seed Vault keeps private keys, seed phrases, and secrets separated from the application layer yet still capable of interacting with apps running on the device or in a mobile browser.
Solana Saga is up for pre-orders for a $100 fully refundable deposit, which will be deducted from the final price, which is expected to be around $1,000.
Nothing Phone (1)
Well, it is not a Web3 smartphone, but Phone (1) comes with the integration of Polygon’s blockchain technology. According to Carl Pei, Nothing’s co-founder, it simplifies access to dApps, blockchain games, and payments via the Polygon network.
What does the future hold?
While the popularity of these phones will depend on the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, it is possible to imagine a future with more blockchain-based smartphones. However, it’s difficult to say when this future will come to fruition.
Nevertheless, it is worth considering how a blockchain-based smartphone might change how we interact with our devices. For one, we would no longer need to rely on a centralised authority to manage our data. Instead, it would be distributed across a network of computers, making it more secure and transparent.