After the acquisition of the audio company THX and the gaming company Ouya, Razer is now planning to expand into the mobile industry. The gaming peripherals outfit has acquired Nextbit, the maker of the Robin “cloud” phone. Razer’s CEO, Min-Liang Tan in a statement said, “With the talent that Nextbit brings to Razer, we look forward to unleashing more disruption and growing our business in new areas.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Nextbit explained that it will operate as a separate business unit within Razer focusing on mobile product design and experiences. “In order to reach a wider audience and continue our mission, we decided to join with a larger brand,” Tom Moss, CEO and co-founder of Nextbit said in a statement.
Bringing the entire Nextbit staff to its company, Razer’s CEO, Min-Liang Tan also said that it plans to keep Nextbit as a separate unit that will continue to develop more products under the Nextbit brand. However, Nextbit has halted production for Robin and said that it will no longer sell the handset and its accessories.
There is some good news for the ‘Robin’ smartphone owners as Nextbit’s CEO Tom Moss posting on the company’s forum promised that the existing users would continue to receive software updates and security patches through February 2018. The company will also provide support for the device for another six months. “More than anything we want to preserve the community we’ve built on our forums and our social streams, we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” he said.
Nextbit was founded by former members of Google’s Android team, with the former design head at HTC. The company started as a Kickstarter project and was able to achieve $1 million target just within two weeks. Its ‘cloud’ phone Robin which was released last year was powered by Nextbit OS, a custom version of Android. The phone integrated with cloud-based functionality and offered 100GB cloud storage.