Geeksphone: Firefox smartphones out, wearables in

The Spanish company known for its developer friendly handsets and Silent Circle collaboration is leaving smartphones to focus on activity trackers.

Geeksphone, the Spanish company known for making developer-focused Firefox phones, is shutting down its smartphone business.

The Spanish startup announced the move on its forums, saying it "has reached the end of a cycle" after making six phones in six years.

It rose to prominence with its release of the first devices, Keon and Peak, to run Firefox OS back in 2013. Firefox OS has yet to achieve market share against the might of Android and iOS - analysts suggest its under one percent - and Geeksphone looks to have suffered the same fate: the company said it has "sold several thousand terminals" over its lifetime.

"Geeksphone has always worked for its users, trying to listen to their needs, in order to bring innovation, freshness, quality, style and to differentiate their mobile devices," the company said. "However these arguments have currently few followers in the mobile phone industry environment, and it is very difficult for a company to maintain its viability and business with this philosophy. Therefore, and for the moment, Geeksphone will not undertake new projects and future development will be in the hands of users."

The company will release all of its software tools to the user community, except those where third-party licensing agreements prevent it. On the device side, Geeksphone will maintain its technical support operation for those that have bought its handsets in the past.

Geeksphone also worked with Silent Circle on the Blackphone, a privacy-focused device that was touted as a more secure alternative to traditional mobiles. Silent Circle bought Geeksphone out of their joint venture together earlier this year, and all the Geeksphone engineers that were working on the project have since moved to Silent Circle.

However, the company is not closing down entirely: it's moving into wearables. One of the company's co-founders, Rodrigo Silva-Ramos, along with and Angel Sánchez Díaz, Geeksphone's director of innovation, are leading its efforts to make an "activity bracelet" to monitor the wearer's sexual performance as well as more standard exercise and sleep metrics. Geeksphone's wearables will be released under the geeks!me brand, with the first hardware expected to arrive later this year.

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