The Solana network is getting its own mobile phone: “Saga” an Android handset by the blockchain’s key stakeholder, Solana Labs.

The upcoming device – a modified OSOM handset with specialty crypto wallet functions and the “Solana Mobile Stack (SMS)” software development kit for Web3 programs – was announced Thursday at a New York City event. It will cost around $1,000 and begin delivery in early 2023, said Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko.

The phone marks Solana’s biggest bet yet on mobile-focused growth. It will feature a Web3 dapp store, integrated “Solana Pay” to facilitate QR code-based on-chain payments, a mobile wallet adapter and a “seed vault” that will store private keys deep within the recesses of the phone.

“Everything is going mobile. In most countries most of ht eaccess happens through mobile phones,” FTX CEO, and key Solana backer, Sam Bankman-Fried said at the event. “But crypto mobile is behind the times,” he said, noting how clunky accessing dapps on mobile devices is currently.

“The best solution for this is having the actual wallet built into your phone,” he said.

Solana Labs said it would partner with other critical companies powering the ecosystem to build the phone, including Magic Eden, the top NFT marketplace, Phantom, the biggest wallet provider, and Orca, a decentralized finance platform. Executives at all three were on-hand to discuss the upcoming mobile experience.

The Solana Foundation pledged $10 million toward spurring the development of mobile apps on its SMS.

“We live our lives on our mobile devices – except for Web3 because there hasn’t been a mobile-centric approach to private key management,” Yakovenko, the Solana co-founder, said in a press release. “The Solana Mobile Stack shows a new path forward on Solana that is open source, secure, optimized for web3, and easy to use.”

It’s not the first Web3 smartphone gambit. Sirin Labs pursued plans in 2018 to ship a blockchain-native phone but faced layoffs and litigation as the product failed to gain traction.

Solana’s Anatoly Yakovenko with a rendering of the Saga phone. (Danny Nelson/CoinDesk)
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