Solana Labs co-founder teases possibility of third mobile device
Last month, Solana Mobile’s flagship web3 smartphone, the Saga, sold out. Last week the Solana Labs’ subsidiary launched its second phone and got over 40,000 preorders in less than a week. But the company is not slowing down anytime soon.
“After Saga sold out, it felt like there’s an opportunity and the timing in the market was right,” Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, said on TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction podcast. “The timing [for the new phone] worked out right around that moment.”
And if the second device is a success, there will be a third phone launched later on, Yakovenko hinted. Web3 mobile phones are not a punchline, in other words, but a potential growth category.
But Solana Mobile’s road to growth wasn’t an easy one. Its first Saga handset didn’t see much demand when it launched mid-2023 at $1,000. It soon lowered the price to $599 in light of weak demand.
Saga’s fortunes improved after crypto users noticed the dog-centric memecoin BONK’s decentralized app (dApp) provided Saga owners with 30 million of its tokens for free, which was valued around the same price as the phone at the time. The Saga then sold out quickly.
“I think crypto was going through a hard bear market, and the Solana ecosystem was feeling the worst of it,” Yakovenko said. “We were looking for more devs to go to launch and I would say [we were] kind of in survival mode because during that chasm of despair you just need to survive until something like macro [turns the market] around.”