You don’t need to be an industry mogul to understand it’s hard, bordering on the impossible, to become a hit smartphone manufacturer these days. The market is just too crowded, and the endeavor too expensive. However, that doesn’t stop companies from trying, and the latest is likely to be a startup called Wonder, which may be working on a high performance device with a VR twist that will appeal to gamers.
Details are very thin at the moment. Wonder made itself slightly public back in June, when CEO Andy Kleinman told Forbes he was working on a new entry into the “mobile space,” and that virtual reality would be involved somehow. Kleinman sees a crowded market filled with smartphones designed for very broad usage, which he believes opens the door to producing a niche device that will satisfy the needs of a smaller group of people.
It seems Wonder will be going after gamers, which means if it is going to launch a smartphone, it’ll have to be a powerful one. The company’s website has no information outside of the chance to receive update alerts in the future, but rumors are starting to spread regarding its design intentions. To be futuristic and a style icon, is apparently the plan for Wonder’s phone, according to an anonymous source speaking to TechCrunch. The official Wonder Twitter account is sparse, but one tweet asks, “Are we building a phone?” Then replies by saying it’s, “Too early to tell.”
Kleinman, who previously worked with game studio Zynga, has a 30-person team with him at Wonder according to TechCrunch, including the former VP of Engineering at Android alternative Cyanogen. Investors include names from WB Studios, Facebook, and several notable names outside of the tech industry such as Kevin Spacey.
The evidence available right now points to Wonder wanting to build a phone. However, that’s very different to actually putting a phone on sale. Situations like this could go either way. We’re still waiting for the Saygus V2/V Squared — a so-called “no compromise” smartphone — for example, but Sirin Lab’s $14,000 unhackable Solarin phone, which is absolutely built for a niche audience, is ready to buy now.
We’ll keep you updated on Wonder right here.