It started with deception, continued onto farce, and it may now have entered its tragic conclusion.
Whartonbrooks was a company started by confirmed Windows Phone fan Greg Murphy to create the device for the masses which would revolutionise the world.
Their “groundbreaking ” Windows 10 Phone promised that it would “breaks the mould of current technological thinking to create a new path” featuring their own “disruptive technology.”
That at least was their hype in 2016 when they announced the Cerulean phone, which was easily confirmed to be a lightly photoshopped (and in the end lightly customised) Coship Moly handset.
With the cooperation of a website which shall remain unnamed, the company managed to create an enormous amount of publicity well out of keeping with the reality of how difficult it is to bring a smartphone to the market, let alone one with a collapsing ecosystem.
After more than 6 months of regular editorials and coverage but no handset, the tale entered its farce stage, where the company suddenly turned to crowdfunding to fund the manufacturing of the device, setting the ambitious goal of raising more than $1 million over 6 weeks.
Predictably, after only getting to 3% of their target, the Indiegogo campaign failed, and with it, the dream of the “disruptive” device that would convince the world Windows Phone was still alive.
The company’s social media accounts have also not been very conversational recently, with their last tweet on the 18th May promising refunds to Indiegogo backers.
In the end, we can not blame Murphy for trying, and besides misleading potential buyers about the power, significance and likelihood of bringing their device to market, we can not accuse him of trying to scam people out of their money. As far as we can gather Murphy was as much a victim of Microsoft’s poor support and abandonment of the Windows Phone dream; something he, like many of our readers, believed in much more than Microsoft themselves.
Update: We reached out to WhartonBrooks and they blamed technical issues due to an SSL certificate installation issue. They did confirm plans for a “new custom high-spec device” but apparently are still trying to get Microsoft’s support for the venture.