Smartphone rumours say Savaje "will be wound up"

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 17 October 2006

Mystery surrounds the future of "alternative OS" company Savaje, after senior staff were seen at the Smartphone Show complaining that the "plug has been pulled."

The company's financial situation was not thought to be particularly ruinous, and it has recently been signing high profile contracts, strategic alliances, and is rumoured to have three major customers ready to place orders.

A senior board member at the Excel show site was overheard describing Savaje's financial backers as "stupid" for putting the company into liquidation last night.

However after several attempts to confirm this news, neither Savaje nor its PR company nor its financial backers had been able to respond - either to confirm, or deny.

The company's latest announcement was of a Phonified strategic alliance under which the Phonified email package would run on the Savaje platform.

Before that, the company announced three Chinese ventures: a joint R&D facility with Hangzhou Dianzi University, aimed at the mobile market in China; a strategic alliance with Longcheer to bring Java based mobile handsets to Chinese and European markets; and the establishment of a joint R&D and Shanghai office with Longcheer.

If the rumour turns out to be true, it will puzzle financial analysts. It is less than a year since Savaje  announced that Investcorp had lead a $40m funding round - money that was earmarked for launching a serious professional marketing operation.

Few analysts will have expected to see a return on that capital yet, especially with the January appointment of a marketing VP in John McCready. McCready's appointment followed SavaJe's agreements with LG Electronics "to complete development of a platform on a range of 2.5 and 3G handsets and with Group Sense Limited to launch a SavaJe-enabled multimedia handset during 2006."

However, one visitor to the Smartphone show did comment that if the investors had been banking on the Samsung launch to kickstart major sales, it might have been naive of them. "Samsung is successful in mobiles, but it has an unusually catholic approach to new technology," said this source, refusing permission to quote by name; "there are far more projects on the go inside Samsung than could possibly succeed."

Official sources at Savaje's publicity office referred all calls to a board member in Houston, where they have so far failed to produce a response. The company's UK office at the St John's Innovation Centre in Cambridge said that there was "nobody in the office today."

Tame end to the Savajery - You can discuss this article on our discussion board.