AndroidPebble founder: It's your "last chance" to make an...

Pebble founder: It’s your “last chance” to make an Android phone small.

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He’s currently working on a chat application to bring iMessage into Android. His new quest is to get anyone to create an Android phone that you can hold in your hand. In an interview with , he stated that he wants to “unionize” small-phone lovers to gain influence over phone manufacturers and suppliers.

To do that, he’s built a site — smallandroidphone.com — that explains his dream phone. He wants a flagship phone that is the same size as the iPhone Mini but runs stock Android. According to the site, small phones are good and ask for like-minded people who will sign a petition. Migicovsky claims he is looking for at least 50,000 people to prove to manufacturers that creating an Android flagship with a screen of fewer than 6 inches would be worthwhile. It received over 6,000 signatures within 12 hours of its launch. On Wednesday, it had surpassed 10,000 signatures.

Migicovsky has done some math to persuade companies to do what he wants.

He is not convinced that he has a plan to turn signatures into natural products. It isn’t easy to convince companies to invest in niche phones instead of trying to create the next big thing. Even if that audience is large and willing to pay, it is hard to convince them. Migicovsky was a great friend and advocate for small phones.

Migicovsky states that he got the idea after watching the Pixel 7 announcement. “Holy shit! They’re just making another huge phone!” he says. This is almost how I felt when the Pixel 6’s “smallest” phone had a 6.4-inch display.

Migicovsky’s website shows how the Pixel has grown over one generation.

Android

On his website, Migicovsky shows how much the Pixel grew over a single generation.

Image: Eric Migicovsky

 

It seems unlikely that such a small group of people would convince companies like Samsung or Google to invest in the phone. Migicovsky tells us that his goal of 50,000 signatures is based on “very, very back-of-the-napkin” math. It costs about 10 million dollars to make your first phone. Then, the rest of the phones cost as much as the cost components.
He wants to show anyone who would consider making an Android phone small enough to be profitable that it’s possible to do so. It isn’t easy to make money on phones. My pitch is to charge more. All of us are screaming for this. We should be prepared to pay more. Based on the suggested $700-800 price, the company could make millions of dollars from his $10 million investment. This is the napkin.
The wishlist: Pixel 5-level cameras with an unlockable bootloader
However, I don’t think it would be difficult for enthusiasts to buy their dream phone at that price. He said he is looking for a phone with a similar design to the iPhone Mini.

5.4”-ish 1080p OLED display (60hz ok)

Cameras must be as good as Pixel 5

must have great low light performance

Stock Android OS

Snapdragon 8 (or other flagship processor equivalent)

5G world phone

Hole punch front camera

2 rear cameras (regular and wide angle)

8GB RAM

128/256GB Storage

4 hours Screen On Time (SOT)

Unlockable bootloader

NFC

It’s not a bad idea, but I am clicking on his website to tell him that I would be interested in purchasing this. I would be especially interested if it included one or two features from his “nice-to-have” list.

Rugged enough to not need a case

IP68 water resistance

Fingerprint sensor on power button

Hardware mute switch

Wireless charging

eSIM

However, even with tons of signatures (and I’m not sure 50,000 people count as a ton), it’s still tough to pitch a company like Samsung, Google, or a smaller manufacturer. Migicovsky admitted that he isn’t sure which company size would be the best for this project. However, he is open to hearing from anyone. It’s not easy to make smartphones. The history of smartphones is filled with well-meaning companies such as RED and Nextbit. These were folded into Razer and Essential. These companies tried to make phones for a niche market and failed.

We are not in the best of times, which makes matters worse. It is difficult to find chips and supply chain problems. If people want these phones, why would they bother to build them when there is a lot of demand? Even for established companies, the opportunity cost of putting rare chips and components in small batches of reasonably-sized phones can be enormous. No product manager would rather risk having scarce hardware go into tiny phones that may not sell than have them go into the large, inexpensive phones that the public loves.

Migicovsky believes he has a solution to the problems of buying chips and the risk of investing in niche projects. He says that one of his ideas is to pre-sell the products ahead of their release. I have some Kickstarter history, and my premise was that people who want small phones know what they want. If you present it to them, say, “Okay, we’re building a small phone. Do you want one?” If you were trustworthy, knowledgeable, and knew your stuff, I’d be willing to put my money on it.

However, just because you have money doesn’t mean that you will be able to make it work. It isn’t easy to find trustworthy. Even companies with past success can take far longer to ship a product. {That’s not to say that it’s never worked before (you more complicated than preorders = profit.

Android

The default phone used to be ultra-pocketable. Now, that size class is hard to find.

Image: Dan Seifert / The Verge

Migicovsky believes it wouldn’t be challenging to get people to invest since no one else will make a small-sized phone. I agree. I am a good enough person to know that I would do anything for a small and portable device. He said, “And that solves the problem with the component.” “You have to go to the manufacturer and ask for the parts. “Here’s the money. He said that a smaller company could take on the project if they were to partner with an OEM who already makes phones rather than setting up manufacturing.

If Migicovsky’s survey does convince a manufacturer to take over the project, if someone sees all of the names he has gathered and agrees that iOS constraints should unbind a small device — he has one piece of advice: Stay focused.

He says that as someone who has built a lot of hardware, it can be a slippery slope. He explains that people may immediately think about adding an SD card reader to their phone or a headphone jack if they are already looking for a niche device. After hearing his idea, my first thought was that the phone should have a “3.5mm jack”. He laughed.

He believes that manufacturers should not add every feature they want to their phones but instead focus on making small phones with great cameras. Pixel market share estimates attest that great cameras don’t always equal great success. He says that the site is his way of saying, “I believe I know what’s best.” Push this button if you agree. If you disagree with me, do not push this button.

Migicovsky believes that the window of opportunity for small Android phones may be closing. He said that this might be our last chance to support small phones and took the chance to email. “If Apple kills iPhone Mini, every OEM will claim ‘even Apple could not do it and give an easy excuse why they aren’t making one.

Although it’s a significant concern, it seems unlikely that anyone will be able to provide the information he needs before he does. Most rumors point to Apple dropping the Mini from their lineup when they announce the iPhone 14 in the fall. However, we believe it could continue to exist as an SE model.

Migicovsky, as well as I both use the Mini. It’s not perfect. I have had issues with the battery life. I know of several people who complained about it.

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack on an iPhone 12 Mini

Migicovsky says he uses a magnetic battery pack to help keep his Mini charged, which is one way to do it.

Dieter Bohn / The Verge

A company could find it challenging to navigate potential churn when launching a second small-sized phone. Migicovsky was not an expert on the subject, so it was difficult for me to get an answer. “I don’t know the answer. This is not something I plan to build. My fun building hardware was already there.” His advice was to make the battery thicker, which is more prominent.
However, there is a limit. Migicovsky claims he loves the Oppo Find N’s height and width, as it is a foldable phone. He also said it was too heavy and thick. He also doesn’t like the Z Flip. He says he can’t open it using one hand.
Apple is not the only company trying to make compact phones a reality. Migicovsky mentions the Sony Xperia Compact series specifically on his website. When I ask him how Sony can improve it, he tells me that the main problem is that the last one was produced in 2018.

Android

In 2015 we gave the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact a higher score than the big version.

Despite all the criticisms you might have about Sony’s approach, persistence is not what stands out. Sony has produced many compact phones over the years, many of which have received excellent reviews. Sony seems to have lost the ability to continue making close phones despite not having the same issues Migicovsky raised for other small phones. He said that the Essential phone wasn’t very focused and that the Asus Zenfone wasn’t big enough, while the Nokia 2018 small phones had too many features.

It might seem easy to listen to his plea and read his website. You created the Pebble and spent many years working with venture capitalists. Why not do this yourself?

Migicovsky said that while he doesn’t rule out the idea as a last resort, he does hope that someone else will. Understandably, he is trepidatious about it. Pebble was a great idea that attracted enthusiasts before it failed to be a success. He stated that “we failed to create sustainable, profitable businesses” in the last month’s post. This was a look back at Pebble a decade ago when it launched on Kickstarter.

Instead of trying to bring back the Android phone, he wants to be the one who sparks enough people to buy one. “There are 7 billion people on Earth. Our differences are not the same. Everybody has unique habits and particularities. He says that some of us enjoy these small phones. “I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to gather enough troops together. I prefer to give up my smartphone and trade it in for something more fun, like the “banana phone” Migicovsky mentioned. I don’t want to get RSI by using something almost classified as a tablet, so I hope he is right.

 

Aizaz khan
Aizaz khanhttps://myelectricsparks.com/aizaz-khan/
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.

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