If there’s one thing that drives the tech industry more than anything–more than innovation, even–it’s got to be competition. That might sound like common sense, but when so many tech companies are in bed together when it comes to design features, capabilities, and even the parts components suppliers, consumer choice is one of the things that truly builds a stand-out company.
Take the sad demise of Acadine, a Hong Kong-based company whose engineers were laid off this week. The company had multiple goals that were all designed to meet a functional need for consumers that the industry just isn’t doing right now. Last month, it was the rebirth of the flip phone for users who just wanted a simplified way to call, text, and maybe snap a picture or two, while still working in compliance with the updated cellular providers’ networks. In February, it was the company’s longstanding attempt to take away some of Apple and Google’s market share by launching a Mozilla-based OS for mobile devices.
Acadine’s woes, like so many other tech startups, stemmed from funding disputes with investors. Chinese investment partner Tsinghua Unigroup had initially laid out around $100 million, but that payment was delayed when the company decided to go for controlling stake in Acadine. The tech company went looking for investors elsewhere, but that source of funds seems to have not materialized.
The company hasn’t completely closed its doors yet, but with its engineering team packing up their desks and their announcement to business partners that they’re shutting down the Firefox-like H5OS project, it may just be a matter of time.