Gaming peripheral maker Razer buys into smartphones with Nextbit, the small startup behind the Robin "cloud smartphone" founded by former HTC, Google and Amazon employees.
According to the new owner, Nextbit will operate as a "standalone business unit under its own management" with a staff of 30. It should also continue providing Robin owners with product support and software updates (including a leap to Android 7.0) while working on more products under the Nextbit brand.
“Nextbit is one of the most exciting companies in the mobile space,” Razer says. “Razer has a track record of disrupting industries where our technology and ability to design and innovate have allowed us to dominate categories with longstanding incumbents, such as the peripherals and laptop categories. With the talent that Nextbit brings to Razer, we look forward to unleashing more disruption and growing our business in new areas.”
Released in 2016 following a Kickstarter campaign, the Robin promised to "never run out of storage" through the power of the cloud. Such claims turned a few heads in the industry, but ultimately the smartphone remained something of a niche offering in a crowded Android market.
Razer has been quietly making fairly large acquisitions in recent years, including gaming console maker Ouya and audio technology company THX.