Sport-brand smartphone maker Tracfones has confirmed it will launch its next flagship, the Sport, later this year, after it raised a new $100 million round.
Tracfons chief executive Mark Meehan confirmed that the new phone will be called the Sport 1, and will be released later this month, on September 18.
The Sport 1 will be a new flagship phone, with a 5.5-inch touchscreen, a large battery, and a 16-megapixel camera, Meehans told investors in a call.
“The Sport is the ultimate sports phone,” he said.
But the new flagship could also be called a “mini-iPhone”, which is what the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are often referred to.
In a move that has been speculated, Tracfest, a sports equipment company based in Melbourne, has partnered with Trac Fone, the world’s largest cellular provider, to launch a new sports phone with the same name.
Tracfest has previously partnered with other leading smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi, to build products based on the TracFone brand.
However, Tricfones said it is not seeking to duplicate those partnerships.
“The reason we’re going to go this route is because we want to be a player in the mobile market,” Meehn said.
“We believe Trac has the best portfolio in the industry, and we believe the market is hungry for Trac phones.”
And that’s what we’re looking to do with this new device.
“TracFones is the parent company of the Tracer smartphone, a 3G, 4G and LTE smartphone that has a 5-inch 1080p screen, is waterproof and runs on Android.
There are rumours that Trac is planning a major refresh of the Sport model, possibly with a slightly larger screen.
With a 10 megapixel camera and a 1.5 megapixel front-facing camera, the new Sport could be a real upgrade over the previous generation.
Meehan said Trac would launch a “major refresh” of the model, which will feature a 10.5mm-diameter display, as well as a new version of Trac’s TouchSmart fingerprint sensor.”
There are other ways to go about creating an ultra-portable phone than having the TouchSmart,” he added.”
That’s why we’re really focused on the new device that we’re calling the Sport.
“And it will be one of the best sports phones we’ve ever made.”
Tracing back to its origins, Trabot was the company that created the TrACFone G1, which is still a popular handset today.
Trabot also created the sport’s first “super-port” model, the Trabota, which was able to travel faster than its competitors, but the company was eventually sold to China’s TCL Communications for $2 billion in 2007.
That was a big moment for Trabots founder Paul Trabiot, who is said to have been one of Trabu’s key investors.
Talks have already started on a Trac mobile phone that would replace the G1.
Trancfones CEO Mark Meeshan says Trac will build its next device with a bigger screen.
Tracy McLean is a technology reporter for The Australian Financial Review.
She tweets @mcelone_rt.