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Turing suspends manufacturing, after struggling to deliver on smartphone orders for three years

Turing suspends manufacturing, after struggling to deliver on smartphone orders for three years

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Turing phone beowulf
Turing phone from 2015.

Turing Robotic Industries has filed for bankruptcy in Finland and all of the company’s movable property has been seized, according to local media reports earlier this week. It allegedly owes its creditors nearly two million Euros. The smartphone company was founded by former Nokia employees in 2015 and received backing by Chinese investors, but has experienced a really rough three years trying to deliver on its promises.

In a Facebook post, Turing CEO Steve Y.L. Chao wrote that the recent news “may have sent an uneasy feeling to some of you.” But he said that Turing filed for bankruptcy in order to temporarily suspend its “manufacturing intentions” in Salo, Finland, where the phones are produced. “It doesn’t mean that TRI is bankrupt,” he wrote, adding that he would post an update in the coming weeks.

After debuting with the security-focused Turing phone in 2015, the company switched its device from Android 5.1 to Sailfish OS the next year without explanation and ended up sending buyers an unfinished build of the phone while they waited for the final one to be ready. Then in 2017, Turing promised to deliver a new phone called the Appassionato for $1,099, with a luxury edition that cost $1,599. But it’s barely started to ship.

Like the first Turing phone, the Appassionato phone would have been made of liquidmorphium, a liquid metal alloy, but unlike its predecessor, it had a USB-C port and a headphone jack, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The phone was also supposed to debut a new digital assistant and concierge service named Sir Alan.

The Appassionato was powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor, which looked increasingly outdated compared to the processors of other rival flagships on the market as Turing was slow to deliver. Limited beta units of the phone went out to reviewers and a few other customers, but the phone never became fully available, even to those who had preordered it.

Many on Facebook didn’t respond well to Chao’s statement, writing that they had already pre-ordered the phone and were waiting for a refund. Someone wrote, “Just means that you are unable to pay the 1.9 million EUR that you owe to your creditors. Nothing to worry about...” Several users said dissatisfied Turing customers should get together and get a class action lawsuit going to force the company to refund their money.