Just months after Razer made a filing for IPO in Hong Kong, the company has hinted on plans to enter the smartphone market. In the recent weeks, the company implied on such intentions for at least three times and there are indicators that the company is prepping at least one handset.

In the recent years, Razer has made several acquisitions, including Ouya, THX, Nextbit and others, to expand its IP portfolio. As it appears, the company had particular plans when it bought Nextbit (the startup behind the Robin smartphone) earlier this year and these plans include a smartphone launch.

Back in September, Min-Liang Tan, the CEO and a co-founder of Razer, said in an interview with CNBC that his company was working on a mobile gaming device planned to launch by the end of the year. Then, in early October, Tom Moss (the founder of Nextbit and SVP/GM of Mobile at Razer) published an image of Mr. Tan with a rectangular device in his pocket, which clearly resembled a smartphone or a mobile game console. Finally, on Wednesday the company tweeted a teaser that almost certainly implies on a launch of a mobile gaming device on November 1 during an event called “Watch, Listen, Play.”

Historically, a number of manufacturers have attempted to release smartphones aimed at gamers. Nokia tried to popularize its N-Gage and then N-Gage QD devices in 2003 – 2004. Then Sony Ericsson released its Xperia Play smartphone in 2011. Neither of the devices have become popular. Motorola reportedly attempted to release a gaming handset in 2011, but cancelled the project. Another part of the gaming smartphone challenge is that only a handful of smartphone makers are actually making money with Samsung being the most profitable among suppliers of Android-based handsets. Cut-throat competition and price wars are key reasons for that.

Razer certainly understands that launching its own handset is very challenging. Meanwhile, the company’s track record has been quite successful so far: Razer has significantly expanded its product lineup since 2005 from mice to various peripherals and even gaming PCs. On the other hand, there were failures as well: the Razer Edge gaming tablet, the project Christine modular PC, and a number of others have never taken off. Still, its own smartphone platform is potentially a too lucrative project not to try it.

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  • nissefar - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    For those who it is not enough that their laptop screams 90-00ies gamer, you can now get a glowing tramp stamp on your phone as well!
  • philehidiot - Thursday, October 19, 2017 - link

    I want that glowing tramp stamp on my arse. Ideally one on each cheek with software on my phone to change the colour. Then I'll be a real gamer. Until I get that final bit of bling I'm a mere shadow of a gamer. RGB fans can only take you so far in this world.
  • negusp - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    Why though?
  • philehidiot - Thursday, October 19, 2017 - link

    Because they want to:
    1) fail miserably
    2) create a bespoke platform that'll cost their fans a fortune before they drop it, leaving the fans with nothing but an expensive brick
    3) fail expensively
    4) massage their oversized egos

    They don't realise that gaming on a smartphone is a casual exercise which can be done on existing hardware just fine without taking a change on a new player. They don't have a new GPU or SoC that can really change the game and so they'll only be able to use off the shelf parts that everyone else is using already but they won't have the resources or economies of scale to be top tier partners with suppliers. So they won't be able to get hold of the best screens, etc (HTC had this problem with parts when they lost their top tier status with suppliers) and they won't have the R&D resources to develop the product well enough to compete. They're just going to end up dropping support when it's clear they're not going to be profitable, screwing over their fans and damaging their reputation.

    This is a hugely competitive, saturated market and only the truly arrogant can even contemplate taking on the established big boys.
  • seamonkey79 - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    Price wars to see who could drive prices up the most, since even the mid-range priced phones like the Oppo's are now pushing what flagships were just a couple of years ago :'(
  • Dr. Swag - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    RGB phone.

    Please no.
  • shabby - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    Lol you can count on it.
  • Zeratul56 - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    My dream has always been a windows phone with an intel processor so I could play my older steam library games. My fanless windows tablet does this quite well. However, Microsoft was dead set on making windows phone fail so that won’t happen.

    That only leaves an android device with some form of Qualcomm processor. I just don’t see that being all that compelling or unique in the market place. Maybe they will bring out some new nvidia soc but I don’t think that’s likely.
  • Ro_Ja - Monday, October 16, 2017 - link

    Very unlikely.
  • edzieba - Friday, October 13, 2017 - link

    Does it have physical controls, consisting of a minimum of:
    2x analog sticks
    4x shoulder buttons
    1x 8-way D-Pad
    4x face buttons
    (optional, can be soft-emaulted) 2x 'option' buttons

    If so, then it contains sufficient inputs to emulate the vast majority of existing consoles, and comply with almost any existing control scheme.

    If it lacks physical controls, or has only a small number (e.g. single analog stick, only 2x should buttons. LOOKING AT YOU, ORIGINAL PSP) then not only does it make it much harder to port existing games to, it also makes it less desirable as an emulation device.

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