Three weeks ago, Tom covered the Linshof i8 smartphone from a German manufacturer known for producing inexpensive desktop machines. The i8 was based around a 5.0-inch screen described as "full HD resolution," which we take to mean 1080p. The processor was an unknown octa core design with a maximum clock speed of 2.1 GHz and backed up by 3 GB of memory. It would have a 3,100 mAh battery, 4G LTE, a 13 MP rear camera and an 8 MP front facing unit, wrapped up in a distinctive design and including 80 GB of internal storage. All this for just $380? If it seemed too good to be true, perhaps this really was the case as Linshof's website changed yesterday to announce: "We understood that it would be a difficult project and we are grateful for having the opportunity to work on it. Unfortunately, our investors decided to close the project due to their own internal reasons. Thank you all for your wonderful support."
We're not likely to ever know what happened to Linshof. We've seen rumors concerning the legitimacy of the device but this is nothing new for a new and previously unheard of device. There have been stories circulating in the German press alleging that the business, it's plans to release the i8 smartphone and a tablet later in 2015 were fraudulent. A lack of investor interest could make a good cover story for being rumbled and exiting the scene, but may also be genuine: we don't know either way.
What do do know is this: it's a shame that the i8 project isn't going ahead. Sure; the high end smartphone market is a difficult one to break into as for many consumers, Apple and Samsung have the market carved up between them thanks to their massive advertising spend. And there's nothing wrong with these devices as they do the job they were designed for, but new entrants on the scene are a great way to shake up the establishment. Perhaps Samsung would never have made the Galaxy S5 waterproof if it weren't for Sony's waterproofing of the Xperia line? Perhaps Apple would never have invented dual core processors if it weren't for the competition? I'm not so sure that the octagonal design would have taken off outside of Battlestar Galactica circles, but I've never used such as design and perhaps it would work very well? Let us know what you think in the comments below.