A German startup that had announced new Android devices has just shut up shop – before even opening. Linshof, the German company in question, states on its own website that:
Linshof is closed. We understood that it would be a difficult project and we are grateful for having the opportunity to work on it. Unfortunately, our investors decided to close the project due to their own internal reasons. Thank you all for your wonderful support.
Note: We have never accepted any kind of pre-orders, donations, or third party investments. All our liabilities and obligations were paid in full.
Previously, Linshof announced a smartphone, the i8, with a 5″ 1920×1080 pixel Super AMOLED display, 80GB of storage, and an octa-core processor clocked at 2.1GHz, as well as a distinctive octagonal form factor with clipped-off corners. A tablet was also supposedly in the works, but no prototype or working model was ever demoed.
Despite the apparently honest and transparent statement on their website, Linshof had attracted some less positive feedback before from German investigative journalists and others. “Please be careful with this and do not give this company money before you actually see a real product coming out. Wait for reputable reviews. Maybe this is all a huge mixup, but it seems fishy,” concludes one Reddit page filled with alleged evasions, denials, and even threats of legal action from the company.
Linshof may have closed without causing any particular problems to anyone, but it does highlight one persistent, and perhaps unavoidable, problem with the Android ecosystem. There may no longer be any real split between Android and iOS app development, functionality, or usability, but so long as the Android platform remains (relatively) open, there are going to be any number of hopeful startups, problematic development stories, or out-and-out vaporware concept devices out there. Apple may miss out on this problem on the actual device front, but is still liable to suffer from it on the software and accessory side. Caveat emptor – and investor.