Snapchat Spectacles showed us recently that Snapchat isn’t scared to get its feet wet with hardware. But is Snapchat ready to go big with a full-blown Snapchat smartphone? One company thinks there’s enough evidence to suggest that Snapchat might be doing just that.
MediaKix recently published a report detailing several Snapchat engineer hires from mobile firms such as Motorola and Verizon that suggest the company is working on a new product, like a smartphone. It’s possible these hires were simply made to help Snapchat build spectacles and better understand the mobile market, but I can see where MediaKix gets the idea.
“Snap went on a hiring spree for employees in hardware engineering, telecommunications and manufacturing logistics starting in August of 2016,” the company said. “These included electrical, mechanical, prototype, hardware, interactive, RF/antenna, and NPI (New Product Introduction) engineers as well as CMF (color, metal, finish) designers, industrial designers, and mobile services specialists. Of the 36 new hires since August of 2016, 16 have pervious experience from Motorola, 7 from Apple, 6 from Google, 3 from HTC, and one each from Verizon and Nokia.”
MediaKix brainstormed what a Snapchat phone might look like, imagining a special 360-degree camera and functions that would allow the experience to center around the Snapchat app. You can check out some of those pictures above.
Snapchat phone? I don’t think so
I’m not quite convinced Snapchat is building a phone. It’s a tough market to break into, and most companies struggle to take just a piece of the market share from Apple and Samsung, which control most of the market in the US. Folks lined up for the Spectacles, though, so a fairly limited Snapchat smartphone launch in a similar fashion might be just as appealing… so long as the pricing is right.