The MWC19 at Barcelona has just seen Electroneum (ETN)’s M1 smartphone released. The crypto verse anxiously awaited the new device, and it’s had mixed reactions from experts. The obvious question is: why is a fintech company involved in smartphone manufacturing?
The first thing everybody will want to know about this phone is if it’s as good as an Apple or a Samsung. It’s not. It’s not meant to be. It’s supposed to be a good, reliable phone, with the added value of being an affordable option for users who remain within the world’s unbanked population.
It runs on Android Go, and it’s average as budget mobiles go. You can buy one starting at USD 80. Those users who’ve already tested it say it’s sturdy, reliable and it works well.
Is this an error?
Not everybody is pleased about Electroneum’s incursion into the smartphone industry. Complaints are going around, mainly by investors, stating that smartphones were nowhere in the picture when they started to invest in Electroneum. Those investors are worried because ETN is entering one of the world’s toughest markets, which is already saturated by two of the world’s industrial giants. They see it as a set up for failure.
Other critics say that, if you can’t afford to own a bank account, then a USD 80 mobile phone (cheap as it really is) is also out of your reach. Yet another fear is that producing the M1 device will use up the project’s ICO money.
The real point in the M1
M1 is a marketing campaign, more than anything else. It’s designed to create trust around the Electroneum environment. Let’s say that a shop owner, or a friend, is trying to persuade an unbanked user to install the ETN cloud mining app.
The person in question is skeptic because “free money” is never really free and it always brings more problems along than those it solves. If you can show this person an M1, it will prove Electoneum’s legitimacy and trustworthiness so that this obstacle can be overcome in expanding the ETN payments system.
Besides, the device has made something of an impact in the cryptosphere. ETN is not the cryptocurrency you usually find in the most influential crypto platforms such as Coindesk or CoinTelegraph. For the most part, it’s considered to be a marginal project that’s not even mentioned very frequently in the specialized news sites.
M1 has changed all that, at least for the time being. Many well-known crypto YouTubers have run with the M1 news, and many sites that otherwise don’t cover ETN at all are also talking about it. That alone shows that the phone has excellent value as a marketing device.
About those ICO funds, they’re not supposed to be at risk. The phone will provide a small profit on its own, so the M1 will not get in the way of Electroneum’s growth.
If you consider the M1 as what it is, it’s quite successful. It’s a marketing device that wants people from within and without the crypto verse to look at (Electroneum) ETN and consider it a viable option. It’s publicity that you can’t buy but that you can sell.
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