If mobile phones are the gateway to widespread crypto adoption, then Solana (SOL) just got a huge head start.
Solana Mobile, the mobile phone subsidiary of Solana Labs, was announced last week at an event in NYC. Along with the announcement came the reveal of their first two products: the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) and the Saga Android phone.
The Solana Mobile Stack, or SMS for short, is a mobile application toolkit for developers. Basically, it allows developers to easily build crypto applications on a smartphone. Crypto applications have historically been built for desktop browsers, and those that are on mobile phones are clunky and buggy. By fixing this, the SMS opens a new frontier for crypto adoption.
The Saga Android phone is built specifically for crypto. Because the Solana blockchain is integrated into the phone, users will be able to do everything with crypto that they can do on a browser. In addition to its crypto capabilities, Solana also believes the Saga is an all-around good phone. It comes equipped with the full set of Google apps and services and a powerful hardware system. Planned for an early 2023 release, the Saga phone can be pre-ordered for $100, which will be applied to the anticipated final cost of $1,000.
A Burgeoning Market
Smartphones have been an untapped market for crypto. Perhaps it is due to fear following the failed 2018 Finney phone from Sirin Labs. In any case, smartphones are a huge opportunity for crypto with almost 7 billion people owning a smartphone worldwide, and smartphone usage outpacing that of desktop usage in 2021.
By making the first foray into this market, Solana is making a major move to both bolster themselves and crypto adoption in general. Right now, about 100 million people worldwide have used cryptocurrency. That sounds like a lot, but pales in comparison to the 2.5 billion people who use Android phones worldwide. If just 10% of those people buy a Saga, that’s 250 million more crypto and Solana users. If SMS expands beyond just the Saga, then that number will likely be much higher.
This looks like a well-placed bet by Solana.