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Nextbit Robin for Verizon/Sprint officially cancelled, refunds promised

by Jacob Kleinman | March 17, 2016March 17, 2016 3:20 pm PST

Bad news for anyone who wanted a CDMA Nextbit Robin smartphone to use on Verizon or Sprint. The crowd-funded company announced on Thursday that it’s canceling the CDMA version of its debut device.

The CDMA Robin was already delayed once earlier this year. At the time the company claimed the phone would be ready by April, instead of the original February launch date. Unfortunately, it looks like issues facing the release have become insurmountable for the small startup.

In a blog post announcing the news, Nextbit CEO Tom Moss offered an explanation for what went wrong. Essentially, the plan to offer a CDMA version of the Robin was rushed after people began requesting the variant halfway through the company’s month-long Kickstarter campaign. It only became clear later how difficult it would be to bring the phone to Verizon and Sprint.

Moss notes that while carriers originally said they could make it work within “weeks” for “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” that later became months and millions of dollars. In the end, he decided it just wasn’t worth it, adding that he’s “truly sorry.”

Nextbit is offering full refunds, and anyone who pre-ordered a CDMA Robin should get their money back within 48 hours of the announcement. They’ll also receive a 25 percent discount code for Nextbit’s online store, which can be used by anyone to buy a GSM version of the phone.

Unfortunately, that’s not much consolation for Verizon and Sprint customers eager to get their hands on the Robin, though maybe it will push some people to switch carriers for a shot at Nextbit’s phone.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...