Solana’s Smartphone Saga Needs 25,000 User Base to Attract Developers

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Solana. Source: Adobe

Solana’s smartphone, Saga, underperforms months after hitting the market with about 2,500 units sold raising internal and wider concerns over the model.

Speaking on an Unchained podcast on Dec 6, Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s founder reflected on the journey so far for the smartphone and other issues relating to the Solana blockchain including developments, roadmap, and price growth.

Current sales figures point to underperformance in the market as the future of the phone remains uncertain due to market dynamics and less attraction from developers still hinged limited adoption.

According to the founder, the company would need to drive sales to 20,000 to 50,000 users as a base level for developers to deploy more applications to the smartphone.

“I think 25,000 to 50,000 units to feel like there is a hardcore user base for developers to be compelled to ship applications.”

Yakovenko noted that in light of market realities, Saga’s future may take another course although internal company discussions are still ongoing. The company will likely pivot to a cheaper secondary device for iPhone users for a smart wallet.

When asked about his phone usage, he added that he doesn’t use Saga exclusively because of his business applications on his iPhone adding that Saga is being used as an “NFT phone.”

We have to decide if there’s a place for a smart wallet, a much cheaper version that an iPhone user could use as a secondary device. We haven’t seen a ton of signal whether that’s a compelling enough thing to sell 50,000 units.”

He explained the growth in Progressive Web Apps and Pass-keys as they reduce the differences between regular and specialized iPhones.

“What’s also changed over the last year and a half is that mobile interfaces like progressive web apps and passkeys have shrunk the difference between a dedicated device to the kind of tools that developers can use to get that experience on a regular phone.”

The smartphone was rolled out earlier this year for $1,000 but later slashed to $599. Despite the community hype on the web3 device, the phone has been poor so far in the market below the expectations of several analysts.

Solana’s growth in the market


Away from the performance of the smartphone, Yakovenko spoke on the progress of the blockchain in recent times particularly the growing roadmap and popularity of the asset.

After the collapse of FTX in 2022, Solana went downhill plunging over 50% due to the exchange holding a significant number of SOL. Despite last year’s saga, the asset peaked with increased decentralized finance (DeFi) numbers in previous months.

The asset has been described as an institutional investor favorite following weeks of inflows into its investment products and a massive rise in assets under management.

This year, SOL has surged over 500% and 46% in the past month although still behind Ethereum in some growth metrics