Razer buys smartphone specialist Nextbit

January 31, 2017 // 11:14 a.m.

Tags: #acquisition #cloud-computing #cloud-storage #financial #min-liang-tan #nextbit #nextbit-os #razer #robin #smartphone #tom-moss

Razer is continuing its efforts to diversify away from gaming peripherals, announcing that it has acquired smartphone startup Nextbit - and its first act as corporate overlord is to kill the company's Robin product.

Nextbit's Robin smartphone aimed to stand out from the market through the use of a customised Android build dubbed Nextbit OS. As well as the user interface tweaks common to Android spin-offs, Nextbit OS had a feature that lived at the very core of the company's platform: seamless cloud integration. Using Nextbit OS, owners of the Robin smartphone would automatically see older content that had not been recently accessed shuffled off to cloud storage to free up room on the device; when requested, the content would be instantly restored to its previous location.

Now, though, the Robin is dead, and Razer killed it. 'While we have stopped selling Robin and all accessories through our official channels, we are still dedicated to supporting all of you,' Nextbit founder Tom Moss claimed in an announcement on the acquisition. 'We will continue to fulfil warranties for 6 more months. And as promised, we will continue to provide software updates and security patches through February 2018.

'I’m thrilled to announce that we’re joining the Razer family! They’re rebels like us, they speak from the heart, and they share our need to push boundaries,' Moss had to say of the acquisition itself. 'Nextbit will operate as an independent division inside Razer, focused on unique mobile design and experiences. To put it simply, we’ll be doing exactly what we’ve been doing all along, only bigger and better.'

'Nextbit is one of the most exciting companies in the mobile space,' claimed Razer's Min-Liang Tan following the acquisition. 'Razer has a track record of disrupting industries where our technology and ability to design and innovate have allowed us to dominate categories with longstanding incumbents, such as the peripherals and laptop categories. With the talent that Nextbit brings to Razer, we look forward to unleashing more disruption and growing our business in new areas.'

Razer has not indicated whether Nextbit will be working on a smartphone to replace the Robin or simply on a software platform to load on top of existing third-party devices.
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