Forgotten Smartphone Brands: Who Else Tried to Enter the Market?

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Are you tired of seeing the same well-known smartphone brands everywhere? It's time to explore the world of forgotten smartphone brands that tried to break into the market, but may have failed to make an impact. In this guide, our expert phone reviewers at Phone Brands™ will share their extensive knowledge of the forgotten brands of smartphones. Let's dive in!

The Oldest Smartphone Brands You've Never Heard Of

While today's top smartphone brands dominate the market, there were early players that paved the way. Before the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones, many others attempted to make it big. Here are some of the oldest and earliest forgotten smartphone brands:


i-mate was a Windows Mobile phone that dominated the market in the early 2000s. The company was established in Dubai in 2001, offering high-performance smartphones that were unique in terms of design and functionality. Their CP50 and SP Jam models featured Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a stunning VGA camera. However, after less than a decade, the smartphone industry left them behind.


Kyocera is a well-known brand that has been producing a wide range of electronic products since the 1950s. They tried to break into the smartphone market in the early 2000s, with their Palm OS-based devices like the 7135 and the QCP. Though they were popular briefly, Kyocera was unable to continue to thrive in the already busy smartphone market and eventually lost out to bigger brands like Samsung and Apple.


Yotaphone, a Russian brand, tried to take a unique approach in the smartphone market by offering a smartphone that featured an LCD screen on one side and an e-ink display on the other. It was an attempt at creating an alternative option for those who still enjoy reading books on their phone but also want to have other features with them at the same time. However, it failed to make an impact on the market and was eventually discontinued.

Who Else Tried to Give Smartphones a Shot?


Toshiba was a popular Japanese brand that produced a wide range of electronics. At one point, they attempted to enter the smartphone market with their TG01 phone. This phone was remarkable for its 4.1-inch capacitive touchscreen display at the time, as well as its impressive Snapdragon processor. While it was popular initially, it eventually became too expensive and ended up being phased out of the market.


Nextbit attempted to make it big with their device, the Robin. The company made a name for itself by creating a phone that had 32 GB of onboard storage, 100 GB of cloud storage, and an unlimited number of apps which helped keep storage space free on the device. Despite these pleasing offerings, Nextbit failed to grow their audience and ended up being acquired by Razer.


At one point, Blackberry was the dominating force in the smartphones market. Blackberry’s first modern smartphone was later introduced in 2002, including the company’s first QWERTY keyboard. However, their operating system (OS) was discontinued in 2022 as it became less popular as Android and iOS became more dominant. Although, their brand has been resurrected over the years with new smartphones being developed today.

What Cell Phone Companies Went out of Business?


Essential was a company founded by Andy Rubin in 2017. It attempted to break into the smartphones market with its Essential Phone, which had a beautiful edge-to-edge display that was cleverly notched around the front-facing camera, and it was also one of the first devices to come with a modular ecosystem. Unfortunately, the company went out of business in 2020 as it failed to gain market interest, and also faced controversies over Rubin's exit from Google.


Vertu was a British luxury phone manufacturer. The company made luxury smartphones with high-end specifications, such as the Vertu Ascent X that featured a sapphire crystal screen. Despite the luxurious appeal, it found it hard to stay competitive against the established smartphone companies, and ultimately went out of business in 2017.

If you are interested in buying any of the mentioned smartphones, check out Phone Brands™'s extensive research on shopping websites for the best deals.

What Is the Rarest Mobile Phone?

Man on the phone while sitting on the street.


Savelli is a brand that created the Ruby Luxury smartphone, which is considered to be one of the rarest phones in the world. The phone is crafted from materials like rose gold, white gold, black alligator leather, diamond, and yes, a 35-carat ruby. Only 100 are made each year, and its price ranges from $ 24,900 to $ 36,900 per unit.


What Are the Best Forgotten Smartphone Brands to Consider?

While these smartphone brands are no longer widespread used, some are worth considering if you want a device that is unique and different than your mainstream iPhones and Samsung phones. In terms of specs and features, i-mate and Yotaphone are great devices to look at while depending on preferences and budget, companies like Nextbit and Vertu might be worth considering.

What Are the Oldest Smartphone Brands that Are Still in Use?

In terms of the oldest smartphone brands currently in use, Blackberry, HTC, Nokia and LG are some of the oldest brands to have released phones that are still in use today.

While we've already discussed forgotten brands that had attempted to enter the smartphone market, there were also some popular brands that had the same fate. Amazon's Fire phone and Google's Android One line are the perfect examples of such brands that failed to gain a foothold in the market.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • While we may see a wide range of smartphones in the market, the top two players in 2023 are Samsung and Apple.

  • LG, Sony, and HTC have all struggled to maintain their place in the smartphone market and have since focused on other products.

  • While forgotten brand phones may no longer have existed, you can still buy old models if interested, but make sure you check their compatibility with new technology first.

  • Before you purchase any smartphone, regardless of the brand, always read through numerous expert reviews to make an informed decision.


Now that we've discussed forgotten smartphones, you're one step closer to exploring other brands besides the top two market players. Each of these phones had something unique about them that made it worthwhile, but as they were unable to maintain throughout the cut-throat smartphone industry. Don't forget to keep exploring to make sure you find the phone that's right for you!






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