>> We've reached out to Escobar Inc for clarification. If we hear back, and nobody kills us for asking too many questions, we'll update this article. ®
Dead men tell no tales
So, as reported yesterday, the younger brother of Colombia's favourite son Pablo Escobar plans to launch a foldable phone, the Escobar Fold 1. Alarm bells started ringing, not least because the entry-level model has an MSRP of $349 – about $1,000 less than what you'd expect. Here's another reason to be cautious, as spotted by …
Spot on, Jake. When I read the previous article I immediately had a mental image of bank notes in a washing machine. I remember hearing some time ago that realising 25 per cent of dirty goods/money is a really good level of return, so this fits. I don't know whether to be impressed or disgusted by the sheer brass neck of the scheme, though!
Maybe a loss leader to make a splash, but If I go to buy a "Flagship" phone from 2 years ago, I can get a similar price reduction from the latest/greatest. What does a 2 year old Samsung Note go for now?
Given that the phone originally got pretty horrible reviews, mixed with someone sitting on top of a stack of boxes in some Chinese warehouse, means they might be happy with a couple hundred bucks/unit or whatever.
The Escobar family connection is certainly interesting, of course, but it doesn't follow that this is a scam anymore than the older phones on my carriers website.
I doubt the phone cost anywhere near what Royales MSRP to manufacture...maybe they just want the capital back?
Interesting, my first thought was "but I can't use this since I'm not a half naked supermodel".
As to why it's so cheap I refer you to the terms on the order page:
DISCLAIMER: BY PURCHASING THIS PHONE THE BUYER IS IN AGREEMENT THAT ESCOBAR INC WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR LOSS OF PROPERTY AND/ OR ANY LOSSES CAUSED BY THE USE OF THE PHONE.
Sounds really legit doesn't it? The only effective meaning I can make of that is that you've actually consented to be fleeced by any malware that may or may not be preinstalled.
Also, in the company history page (which I recommnend heartily) they say that someone squatted on their web domain, and demanded $3 million to give it back to them. They won it at an international domain dispute panel.
That is one brave cyber-squatter! / That was one stupid cyber squatter! [delete as appropriate]
They also set up a GoFundMe to impeach Trump while doing all their other stuff.
Probably, because unlike say Samsung, they are not paying a team of software developers to write a load of bloatware for the damn thing that duplicates existing tools, cannot be removed from the phone and are out of date before it even got into the store let alone your own home.
I am comforted in my opinion that anything related to this company is to be avoided at all costs. It is astounding that such a family of criminals can openly deal on the international market without any backlash.
Escobar can keep its trash, I'm not going to help them launder a single cent of ill-gotten gains.
While the scantily clad women are a marketing trope, yet possibly still effective, I think they could have done better:
Have photos of sad looking, heavily tattooed men doing hard time, with expressions that say, "I used to own the world but now life sucks."
Put a caption underneath: "Secure phones. If I'd had one of these, I wouldn't be here."
July 11 2019 (company history page):
Escobar Inc launches the original, official and proprietary Escobar Inc Flamethrower, a $500 flamethrower, reduced to $249 tactical toy with a 20,000 unit production run produced by Flameshooter Ltd in London, UK. Currently in a dispute with Elon Musk over our proprietary technology.
I'm surprised there isn't also a line of chainsaws as well. You couldn't make this up. It's a funny old world...
@I ain't Spartacus: "proprietary technology."
I'd love to know what "proprietary technology." there is, in what is essentially a weed burner made to look "tacticool". Even when the Escobar inc one is clearly a rip off, and they wouldn't have made one without The Boring Company doing so first, the 'proprietary' bit of a gas burner is going to take some selling.