A few years ago a startup called Turing Robotic Industries unveiled an unusual smartphone called the Turing Phone. It places an emphasis on privacy and security, has a boxy design with geometric patterns on the back, and it was one of the first modern smartphones to lack a headphone jack.
It also doesn’t have a USB port, because that’s somehow supposed to make the phone safer or something.
Anyway, the Turing Phone shipped in small quantities, the company made some outrageous plans for its future devices, and eventually unveiled a second model. But this week news came out of Finland that Turing had filed bankruptcy in that country.
So is this the end of Turing Robotic Industries? Nope… at least not yet.
In a Facebook post, the company notes that the bankruptcy filing “was initiated to temporarily suspend our manufacturing intentions in Salo [Finland], however it doesn’t mean that TRI is bankrupt.”
That said, a bankruptcy filing does imply that the company is unable to pay the 1.9 million Euros it ows its creditors, at least in the affected region. So things don’t necessarily look good for Turing, which is based in the United States, but which had planned to move its manufacturing to Finland.
At this point it’s unclear if or when you’ll ever be able to get your hands on that second-gen phone, the Turing Appassionato… but its specs are also looking more and more dated every day. When it was announced, the phone was a $1099 handset with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor… which is already a generation behind the Snapdragon 835 chip that powered most high-end phones in 2017. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chip should hit the streets this year.
The rest of the spec sheet doesn’t actually look too bad, so if Turing does manage to stay afloat and if the company does figure out how to bring the phone to market with a newer chip, the rest of the design might not need much tweaking: the Appassionato was expected to feature a 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display, dual rear cameras, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery.
Oh, and this model actually has a USB Type-C port and headphone jack, as well as a microSD card slot. I guess those aren’t so bad for security after all.
The phone is also expected to ship with Android rather than Sailfish OS, which would make it more like… well, most other smartphones on the market, albeit an expensive one. You know, if it ever actually ships.