Business

Geeksphone closes up shop as founders turn their eyes to wearables

Firefox OS mobe maker calls it a day

By Neil McAllister in San Francisco

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Spanish smartphone startup Geeksphone is winding down operations and will not pursue any future mobile phone projects.

"Geeksphone has always worked for its users, trying to listen to their needs, in order to bring innovation, freshness, quality, style and to differentiate their mobile devices," the company said in a statement on Friday. "However these arguments have currently few followers in the mobile phone industry environment, and it is very difficult for a company to maintain its viability and business with this philosophy."

Geeksphone was founded in 2009 by Rodrigo Silva-Ramos and Javier Agüera and was notable for shipping the first commercially available handset running Mozilla's Firefox OS in 2013.

The company developed six smartphones in total, and it says its customer technical support service for these devices "will operate in the same way it has done so far."

In addition, in 2013, Geeksphone partnered with Silent Circle to develop Blackphone, a security-focused handset designed to thwart eavesdropping. A number of Geeksphone's engineers have now moved over to Silent Circle to continue work on that project.

In its statement, Geeksphone said future development of its smartphone software will be left in the hands of its customers.

"Geeksphone has made available to the entire community of users all the tools that we are legally able to spread, for further development, since the company also has licensing agreements with third parties who may not be made public," it said.

Ramos and Agüera, meanwhile, have moved on to developing wearables with a new brand called geeks!me. The company's first product, said to be "an activity bracelet that will allow users to carry a healthier pace of life," is expected to launch within a few months. ®

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