Emblaze’s First Else Linux phone is dead
We suspected there was something fishy about the Emblaze First Else, and we were damn right to be suspicious. Announced with much fanfare in the fall of 2009, the Emblaze First Else phone won’t get to see the light of day market, because it has been officially cancelled (despite being showcased at CES 2010).
Designed in collaboration with Japan-based Sharp and Access, the First Else was supposed to be a super phone running Else Intuition – a new mobile OS based on Linux – and featuring a 480 x 854 pixels touchscreen display, GPS, 5MP camera, and 16GB of internal memory.
So why did Emblaze cancelled the handset?
Well, here’s the company’s statement:
In November 2009, ELSE first unveiled the First ELSE mobile device, which was designed to showcase the capabilities and advantages of ELSE Intuition, its new Linux based mobile platform.ELSE’s products attracted excitement and interest from potential partners, as well as the media and mobile analysts, for
its unique innovation and user experience.
ELSE’s management have since invested considerable time and effort to secure a partnership for the sale of the First ELSE mobile devices. While there was encouraging interest in the device by potential partners, management was not able to confirm a deal on terms acceptable to Emblaze to proceed to the
production of the device.
Due to critical delays in deliveries and the current status of the project, the board has now decided to cease any further investment towards manufacturing of the First ELSE mobile device and to concentrate efforts only on licensing the ELSE Intuition platform and technology in order to realize its potential
This decision will drastically reduce the Company’s operational and development costs and will positively contribute to its route to profitability.
So there it is. It’s obviously hard to be a new player in the smartphone market if you don’t have enough support (financially mainly). Google (with its quickly-growing Android) is one of the few successful examples in this case. But Google is a huge and unique company, not some shady start-up.
Now let’s see if there’ll be any phone makers willing to take the risk of using the “ELSE Intuition platform and technology” for their own products.