Tuesday , November 13 2018
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Razer’s second gaming phone will struggle to find anything more than a niche

Razer’s second gaming phone will struggle to find anything more than a niche

Gaming phones are a strange experiment in the mobile market. I can see them being either wildly successful or abject failures in the coming years. I guess this is why I’m simultaneously intrigued and puzzled by the announcement of the Razer Phone 2.

Razer, if you’re unaware, is a Singaporean company and one of the biggest gaming hardware brands around – making laptops, computers, and peripherals. But, last year, it dipped its toes in the phone market with (arguably) the first modern mobile device aimed at gamers, the Razer Phone.

(Side note: N-Gage lovers, please don’t @ me, I did say modern.)

The company revealed it was working on the follow-up – the Razer Phone 2 – in the strangest way it knew: through its earnings report. I think we can all agree it’s a bizarre manner to announce a flagship device bound to get column inches.

Filed under “Others” in the earnings report, what Razer wrote about it was also interesting:

The Group is very pleased with the success of its first generation Razer Phone, which was released in a limited run and has garnered very positive reviews internationally. Razer is now focusing its resources into the development of the second generation Razer Phone and accompanying software releases which will extend its software and services from PC into the mobile market.

Buckle up, there’s some stuff to unpack here.

The success of the original Razer Phone

In the earnings report, Razer state that the revenue in the “Others” category rose to $16.5 million – something “primarily due to the contribution of the Razer Phone sales.” Alongside this, it also claimed the launch of this device was a “limited run.”

Hmm.

Considering the Razer Phone retails for about $700, this suggests that the company only sold in the region of 23,000 units. To put that into perspective, Apple sold over 216,000,000 iPhones in the 2017 fiscal year. Putting “limited run” in the report definitely makes Razer’s sales figures seem less low, right?

Yes, I know this isn’t the fairest comparison, but it displays something important: there’s a hunger for smartphones that the Razer Phone has failed to capitalize on.