On Wednesday 29th June 2005, Sendo went into administration. It was a very sad day for the mobile industry in Britain, especially for those of us who are fans of the Sendo X and X2 smartphones. This article aims to draw togeteher all the facts leading up to this sad event and give an informed opinion on what's next for Sendo, their employees, and (probably the question on most people's minds) the future of the X2 smartphone.
Wednesday morning started just the same as any other for those of us following events - the "new" firmware for the Sendo X was finalised and due to be released any day, it was just a case of those of us outside of Sendo wondering which day that day would be.
As the day progressed, the level of activity surrounding the firmware increased (for those of us in the know) - was it possible that today would be the day when the firmware was finally put on the Sendo website? Could this be the day when we'd be able to silence most f the critisisms leveled against the Sendo X smartphone?
Eventually the new firmwares started appearing on the sendo website and announcements made here and on All About Symbian. Everything looked rosey again for the Sendo S, after a much extended delay.
Then, a mere matter of minutes later, the news started leaking out that Sendo had gone into administration. Suddenly everyone at Sendo who had been "on-line" disappeared, and anyone calling the Sendo office was told that all employees were all "in a meeting". Getting any sort of confirmation or statement from Sendo about these rumours was impossible. As the afternoon continued into the evening, more details started emerging - yes, the rumours were true (Sendo eventually posted confirmation on their website); Motorola had bought the R&D and Intelectual Property of Sendo, but had not bought the business as a whole, nor the inventory of any existing and future Sendo phone models.
As the dust started to settle over the initial shock, with more and more news sites picking up on the story, it started to become clear what had actually happened. What follows is my interpretation of these events...
- Sendo realised they were in big trouble roughly a week before anything happened. They approached a number of companies about a possible merger / buyout. This got reported on in the Sunday Telegraph, with a possible Motorola link being touted.
- Motorola agreed to buy R&D and IP, but obviously with conditions.
- Having failed to find any other buyers for the rest of the business, Sendo decide they have no option other than to go into administration.
- The staff, knowing this was a likely outcome, do their utmost to get the outstanding firmware for the X (and other associated software) finalised and released.
- The staff officially get told that "Yep, we're in adminstration. This is what's going to happen..."
- The press start picking up on rumours and counter rumours about these happenings.
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