The Nextbit Robin is one promising smartphone. When it was first introduced last August as the first smartphone project to the startup Nextbit, we thought it has potential to be a reliable cloud phone. The Nextbit Robin cloud-first phone went up for pre-order in October and was expected to ship to early backers last February. The startup did deliver the Nextbit Robin to lucky buyers.
If you may remember, a group of Verizon subscribers clamored for the Robin which was initially announced for T-Mobile and AT&T users. NextBit added a Verizon option but unfortunately, things have changed and there won’t be any CDMA version of the Robin. We don’t know what really happened but according to Nextbit, the move to get a CDMA seemed ambitious because the phone really was originally a GSM phone only.
A Nextbit representative shared a statement as quick explanation:
What people at the carriers, in good faith given our need for quick answers, thought would take “weeks” has turned into “months”. What they thought would cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” has turned into “millions”. And we’re still not there. The goal posts are still being moved, and at this point, we think it is better to cancel this version rather than continue to try and make progress with no clear answers to offer regarding when we would actually be able to ship.
Approval for CDMA could be obtained but it turned out to be more challenging than originally thought. There had been delays in getting approval so instead of moving to the next level, Nextbit cancelled the version. Those who placed their orders for the Verizon CDMA phone can get a refund plus a CDMA Robin code with a 25% discount off the GSM version.
This is sad news for Verizon subscribers who’ve been anticipating for the Nextbit Robin but the startup doesn’t want any complications now.