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One month after the original Solana Saga smartphone sold through the rest of its production run following a rise in value for free tokens awarded to owners, Solana Labs revealed the Saga "Chapter 2" smartphone on Tuesday.
It’s a cheaper follow-up with similar core features built around the Solana crypto ecosystem. The Solana Saga "Chapter 2" will launch in 2025 for a preorder price of $450, making it a more affordable option than the original high-end device released in April 2023.
The pre-order price is only available for a limited time, according to Solana Labs, and preorders will count towards a non-refundable deposit for "founders" who want to commit to the phone well ahead of the release. However, the official website suggests that middling demand could trigger a cancelation of the project and refunds: "If our preorder target is not met, we may decide not to proceed. In that event, we will refund your deposit."
Solana Labs has yet to reveal the hardware in the second Saga phone or give a look at the actual product, but the lower price suggests more modest specs than the original phone. Like the original Saga, the Chapter 2 phone is designed to be a crypto-native phone that’s built for the Solana ecosystem, offering a native wallet solution with security features, as well as access to decentralized apps built on the blockchain.
2/ Having 20,000 Sagas in the community’s hands is a crucial milestone 🎯
We now have a community as sizable as some of the largest NFT projects, offering a fertile ground for developers to build and experiment with mobile.
But it’s time to aim much higher.
— Solana Mobile 🌱 (@solanamobile) January 16, 2024
CoinDesk first reported plans for a cheaper Saga phone follow-up late Monday, citing a person familiar with the plans. Solana Mobile then teased the announcement early Tuesday before revealing the new device.
The Solana Saga released at a price of $999 last April, but appeared to find a very small audience. Solana Labs dropped the price to $599 in August, though that did not appear to spur a significant rise in interest.
Just 20,000 units were produced in the original run, and only a few thousand were sold and activated in the first several months based on on-chain data, since activated phones are granted a genesis NFT on the Solana blockchain.
What did drive interest, ultimately, was the rising value of BONK, Solana’s leading meme coin, as Saga owners are able to claim an airdrop of 30 million tokens. At peak price in December, that sum of BONK was worth about $1,025—more than the cost of the phone itself. The rising price of BONK drove interest in the phones, leading to a sellout of the original run.
Further exclusive airdrops have been offered to Saga owners, including other tokens and NFTs, turning the Saga user base into something of an exclusive club of Solana die-hards. Phones have been selling for thousands of dollars on eBay as people attempt to join the cohort and potentially reap the benefits of future airdrops and perks.
Solana Labs teased potential future plans around the Saga after last month’s sellout, but declined to elaborate at the time on whether it would produce more of the original device or create some kind of successor.
“We’re extremely excited by this surge in momentum and interest in Saga,” a Solana Labs representative told Decrypt in December. “Right now, our priority is to continue listening to our community so that we can understand what this demand looks like, both now and in the future, and assess what comes next.”