[DAY2] XDA Labphone — Pricing, Availability and Source

[DAY2] XDA Labphone — Pricing, Availability and Source

We’ve been hard at work at the XDA HQ for close to two years, with only one goal — to answer a fundamental question. That question is, “Just how powerful can Android get?”… and that is a question we will still be asking for a long time to come.

As many of you have guessed and as some of you have feared, the Labphone is just an April Fools joke. There is no Labphone. The team really came together on this year’s joke and we will take a few moments here to outline how it all came to be.

  • The concept and article were written by myself (Mathew) and Mario Serrafero, our Glorious Leader,
  • The glorious renders were the work of NAK Studios and were originally an awesome concept for the Galaxy Nexus S back in 2012 (yep, that old).
  • All other images were created by Faiz of the portal team,
  • The source code was the work of Garwynn of the portal team and can be found over at Github: Proprietary VendorDevice and Kernel,
  • Blk_jack, lead developer of XDA Labs, was kind enough to back us up in the XDA Labs thread
  • R3pwn was kind enough to not only hold a Q&A over on Twitter but also provided test photos and even changed the Exif data!
  • A huge thanks to Swappa who backed us up on our plan to clean up and resell previously bricked devices on their site,
  • We were surprised and grateful to PhoneArena for their news coverage of the announcement.

What I think is interesting is that in 2016 a phone of our dreams still doesn’t exist. Despite what you read in hashtags we’re not at a ‘never settle’ point and there is definitely a market for hackable high-end phones geared specifically towards enthusiasts. No idea how big that market would be, but for all the articles I’ve read decrying the decline of custom ROMs and such, people still want control and the ability to better customize their mobile experience. That said, the mobile hardware game is a tough one and I imagine extremely difficult to really make a profit from when your competition is spending $14 billion annually on marketing alone.


The best comment of the day has to go to:


XDA Portal Team throughout Friday

As the day went on, the joke kept growing and growing, and it eventually grew too big for us to handle: legitimate sites started believing the story, despite the April Fools date, and we also saw people who originally thought it was just a joke begin to believe in the Labphone. That being said, many sharp users managed to point out the flaws in our story: for example, we didn’t change the QR code in the benchmark screenshot (missed chance!), which led to a OnePlus One benchmark page… we also didn’t put much effort into the repo which was inconsistent with the original release. To all the broken hearts we might have caused… we are truly sorry, and we too wish the Labphone was real.

Nevertheless, it made for an entertaining April Fools. We hope that you stayed in the ranks of the skeptics and enjoyed the ride as much as we did!

It’s certainly interesting to see just how popular the concept of the XDA Labphone was and we hear you. There clearly is demand for a Labphone… maybe a year from now, things will be different.

About author

Mathew Bloomer
Mathew Bloomer

He fell in love with Android after buying a T-mobile G1 in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He firmly believes the future of technology lies within bio-hacking and is an NFC implantee.