The Nextbit Robin will no longer be headed to Verizon or Sprint

The Nextbit Robin will no longer be headed to Verizon or Sprint
The weird story of a CDMA version of the Nextbit Robin has come to an unfortunate end. The young smartphone maker announced earlier today that it has decided to cancel the Verizon and Sprint-compatible version of its cloud-centric smartphone.

A couple of weeks into Nextbit's crowdfunding campaign for the Robin, the manufacturer announced the availability of a CDMA version that would play nice with Verizon's and Sprint's wireless networks. As it turns out, however, it looks like Nextbit was a bit too optimistic in thinking it can modify the GSM version of the phone without spending too much time or money.

In a letter to backers, Nextbit CEO Tom Moss said that the carriers provided incomplete information at the time when Nextbit was deciding whether to launch a CDMA version. In January, Nextbit encountered the first hurdles, which prompted the manufacturer to announce that it is delaying the CDMA version of the Robin. As costs spiraled and issues multiplied, Nextbit decided that it's time to pull the plug on the project.

Those who've backed the CDMA version of the Nextbit Robin on Kickstarter will get full refunds while those who've pre-ordered the Verizon and Sprint-compatible version will not be billed.

In an attempt to apologize to its customers, Nextbit will offer those affected a 25% discount towards the GSM version of the Robin. Since those who've ordered or backed the CDMA version probably have no use for the GSM version, Nextbit says that this 25% discount can be passed along to family or friends.

Note that this is not the first open-market smartphone which failed to reach Verizon users despite initial manufacturer plans. In what's a highly similar story, HTC had recently decided to abandon the idea of tweaking the unlocked HTC A9 to support Verizon's CDMA network.

source: Nextbit

FEATURED VIDEO

8 Comments

1. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

CALLED IT! I never thought that a startup would be able to get a device on Verizon's network when bigger established OEMs cant....

2. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Looks more like it's a CDMA problem than a Verizon problem, but bravo on the prediction. You're like a modern-day Nostradamus!

3. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

well not entirely, as the article mentioned the A9 isn't on Verizon either, but it is on Sprint.

4. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

he's is Setsuna F Seiei an Innovator

5. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

He is Gundam.

6. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

I can change. I have to. I'll become a Gundam!

7. eman99

Posts: 410; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

Yes it does look like a cdma problem well the whole world is gsm damn damn damn i was looking foward to this

8. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

I was one of the CDMA backers, and I've already got my refund and discount code. I was also one of the first group to activate a Google-store-bought Nexus 5 on Ting (Sprint MVNO), which was happening about the same time that they were being activated directly on Sprint. There were some snags, but Ting wanted to make it work, and did, and I believe Sprint was cooperative. I believe the problem is not a CDMA problem as such. I suspect it is a Verizon problem. As in, they don't want to play. I suspect Nexbit concluded that the costs to make it work on Sprint, without the Verizon market, were not reasonable. Verizon coverage is lousy at my home, T-mobile is non-existent, but Ting/Sprint have a femtocell available, and it works fine. (I think Ting may be the only MVNO where one can get a femtocell of any flavor.) As a result of working through these issues, I've found that AT&T does work well at my home, and I might make the switch to a GSM Robin on them. I prefer the philosophy of unlocked phones, and this will never happen on CDMA because Verizon doesn't want it to.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.