Razer purchases Nextbit - will they make Smartphones?

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Razer has purchased Nextbit, the startup manufacturer behind the Nextbit Robin smartphone. Nexbit would be designing software and hardware for Razer, but both companies did not share details on exactly what they will be fabbing.

This news is just three months after they bought audio tech company THX. The startup behind the Robin smartphone, founded by Android veterans who had set out with high hopes (and some decent funding) to rethink how to build a mobile phone that leaned on cloud storage, reports techcrunch.

Razer will be bringing on Nextbit’s staff of 30, and Min-Liang Tan, Razer’s co-founder and CEO, said in an interview that the plan will be to develop more products keeping the Nextbit brand, which will operate as its own standalone business unit.

“We’ve been huge fans of what Nexbit has been doing,” he said, “both the work on the phone technology and on the cloud-based storage side of things. There is a lot of potential and talent.”

But the carry-over will not include Nextbit’s Robin phone — which in any case was no longer being sold by Nextbit, either. Min confirmed that the Robin has been discontinued, but the software and existing phones will continue to be supported for at least the next six months.

As for what is coming next, Min would not specify whether that will be something similar to what Nextbit has made before or something else altogether.

“We’ll be ready to talk about that when we’re ready,” Min said in an interview. “With Nextbit, it was really the software and design talent we wanted to bring in. We have a good track record of going into traditional markets and building out from there.”

Razer has been focused squarely on gaming (the company’s motto is “For Gamers. By Gamers”), and it has been a pretty aggressive believer in targeted, vertical integration, building a wide range of hardware and software for the gaming market. So it’s interesting that before now, the company has stayed away from making mobile phones, which have such a strong link to the gaming world.

Razer purchases Nextbit - will they make Smartphones?

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