Razer, the gaming laptop and peripheral company, has acquired smartphone-maker Nextbit. A press release announcing the acquisition says that Razer “has acquired the majority of the assets of Nextbit Systems Inc. and has brought onboard the management and employees of the company,” but no financial details of the acquisition were disclosed. The deal closed on Friday, January 27th, 2017.
Nextbit, which was founded by former members of Google’s Android team and a former head of design at HTC, will remain a largely independent company, operating as a “standalone business unit under its own management,” according to the release. In an interview about the acquisition, Nextbit CEO Tom Moss said the “whole team” will be coming over and that the deal will give the company more resources than it otherwise would have access to. The Nextbit staff will remain in their current location in San Francisco and will not combine with Razer’s team at this time.
Moss would not comment on any new products in the pipeline, but said that Nextbit will “continue on its mission to push boundaries and do cool stuff in mobile.” It is likely that we’ll see new hardware and software at some point, but Moss did not provide any details about future plans.
Nextbit has released one smartphone so far, the Robin, which became available just about one year ago, following a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. It garnered a lot of acclaim for its unique software design and promise to “never run out of storage,” but didn’t exactly upend the mobile industry. Moss said that Nextbit is committing to another year of software updates on the Robin and Razer will be backing up purchases with six months of hardware warranty, though the device has been out of stock in official channels for a couple of months already. The forthcoming Android 7.0 Nougat update is expected to arrive this quarter, and Nextbit’s promised battery improvements are due to follow shortly after that.
For Razer, Nextbit is one in a series of acquisitions, following last year’s very similar purchase of audio technology company THX. What happens in the future remains to be seen, but by all accounts, it seems that Nextbit has found a lifeboat of sorts in its new parent company.