Razer may be well known in the gaming enthusiast community for its gaming notebooks and PC accessories, but the company is looking to branch beyond the PC business. According to a recent report, Razer is looking to get into the red-hot smartphone business.
While smartphones can be incredibly lucrative for well-entrenched players like Samsung and Apple, the market is an incredibly tough nut to crack for new players. Razer itself has no prior experience in the smartphone market, however, it did purchase Nextbit earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. Nextbit launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for it cloud-centric Robin smartphone, but Razer ceased sales of the device when it purchased the startup firm.
Although not much is known about the alleged Razer phone, it’s highly likely that the Nextbit team — which is comprised of former Google and HTC engineers — would be taking the lead on the project. According to Bloomberg, the smartphone would put a heavy focus on hardcore gaming.
However, in order to get these efforts started, Razer needs cash, which is why it is planning an initial public offering (IPO) later this year that could value the Chinese company at $5 billion. The cash infusion for developing a smartphone is reportedly the primary reason for the IPO in the first place. But what could Razer, which is a newbie in terms of designing and marketing smartphone hardware, bring to the table that competitors like HTC and Samsung aren’t already doing in the mobile space?
Seeing as how the upcoming smartphone is supposed to be designed by gamers, for gamers, the first things that pops into mind is a modular design that would allow gamepads to be attached, turning it into a true mobile gaming device (like Motorola has done with its Moto Mods for the Moto Z family). While it’s definitely an intriguing idea, we’ll have to wait until 2018 at the earliest to see what Razer has in store for us.