It’s been almost four months since the Solana layer 1 blockchain announcement its web3-focused smartphone saga and as the phone nears its official release date, the plan has changed.
“Our goal is not to sell 10 million units,” Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solanasaid on stage at Disrupt 2022. “We would be very happy with 25,000 to 50,000 units sold next year, that would be awesome.”
While successfully launching a new phone isn’t easy – as we’ve seen with the efforts of countless other companies – Solana is looking to approach the launch differently, Yakovenko hinted.
It is a tool to attract developers, Yakovenko added. “It’s a developer game.”
Before launching Solana, Yakovenko spent most of his professional career at Qualcomm and helped other big tech companies like Facebook and Windows build mobile phones. It should be noted that a bunch of those who failed. But the main difference now is that it’s not as capital intensive, Yakovenko said.
“It’s one of the moonshots,” Yakovenko said. “The reason we can do this is because it’s cheap enough to try. It’s not going to break the bank or anything like that.
The phone market has matured to the point where teams can quickly build a device with small tweaks to an Android so it can enable a Web3 experience, Yakovenko noted. “The opportunity is there right now because we don’t need to make $10 million in sales right off the bat. We can actually target a very small niche audience which is crypto-heavy web3 users.
If there is a Web3 distribution channel for mobile crypto developers, it can open up opportunities for them to build experiences outside of the laptop-centric digital asset ecosystem, Yakovenko said. Users won’t have to log into four different apps to create a crypto transaction, he joked. “These are the flywheels we need for the next cycle.”
“Imagine you have 50,000 to 100,000 people trading on Magic Eden daily,” Yakovenko said. “It’s a more lucrative distribution channel for developers than app stores with hundreds of millions of users. For web3, all the money is currently in these little niche groups. »
Separately, the web-focused phone3 will allow content creators and platforms to grant digital property rights to organizations and users, unlike the 30% tax rebate that Apple and Google have on app sales.
The idea of true digital ownership means that digital items should be treated like physical items, and it’s not something Apple or Google are built around, Yakovenko said.
“They’re built around a rent-seeking model where all content is owned by the creator and you, as the user, rent it. When you buy a video from Amazon, you don’t actually own it; everyone realizes that you don’t own it.
So neither Google nor Apple really want to take on Web3 because true ownership of digital assets disrupts their business models, Yakovenko said. “When you’re the content creator and you have an app on the iOS store, you can take the 30% fee, eat it, and give it to Apple. Magic Eden can’t sell a $10,000 NFT for 13 $000 on the iOS app, they can’t add tax or eat it because that would destroy profits.
“The opportunity is there right now,” Yakovenko said. “Google and Apple, I don’t know what it’s going to take to change internally for them to waive the 30% app tax. It’s too good for them to waive it in the next five years.
So while these two mega-corporations continue to apply their 30% tax, there is a “corner that exists.”
Saga plans to implement digital asset products and services, so users can transact with their cryptocurrency through the device, as opposed to a laptop browser. In addition to the Saga announcement, it also launches Solana Mobile Stack, or SMS, which is a web3 layer for Solana built on the phone.
“Let’s say crypto grows from 10 million monthly active users to 100 million monthly active users over the next five years, I imagine the same goes for the SMS stack or the phone itself- same,” Yakovenko said.
Then maybe Google or Apple could change their minds about the tax and enable Web3 experiences similar to what Saga hopes to have.
“That would be a win,” Yakovenko said. “We would have won for everyone in crypto. That would be great.”