Pablo Escobar's brother announces the Escobar Fold 2 amid claims that Escobar Inc is scamming buyers of the Fold 1
In one of the stranger tech stories of 2019, Pablo Escobar's brother launched a foldable smartphone and one that resembled the Royole FlexPai. However, while the FlexPai retailed for roughly US$1,320, Escobar Inc was asking a mere US$349 for their Fold 1. Fast forward two months and the company has now announced the Fold 2, a US$399 handset that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Galaxy Fold, a device for which Samsung charges nearly US$2,000.
According to CNET, Escobar Inc is able to offer these vast discounts on OEM pricing by sourcing units from "secondary factories" in China. Effectively, Escobar Inc claims that it is repackaging surplus Royole and Samsung stock before selling it cheaply.
At least, that is the story anyway. We have been unable to find any people online who have received a Fold 1 to date. On the contrary, forums like r/EscobarFold1 are littered with reports of people receiving a book and a "complimentary upgrade" to the Fold 2 instead of the Fold 1 that they ordered. The note included in the box states that Escobar Inc will start shipping the Fold 2 in March.
Except, Escobar Inc seemingly has hardly any involvement in the Fold 1 or the Fold 2. On the contrary, the company's website states that Pablo Phone Ltd sells the Fold 1 and Fold 2 under license from Escobar Inc. Pablo Phone Ltd is a registered company in the UK, of which Pablo Escobar's brother is the sole director.
If this did not all sound questionable enough, then Escobar Inc has a history of failing to deliver on products and services. In 2018 it launched Dietbitcoin, for example, a cryptocurrency that no longer exists. It also, acting under the name of the now-dissolved Coin Legal Ltd, briefly owned the trademark to Bitcoin before Craig Wright declared the trademark his. More recently, its flamethrower, the technology for which Escobar Inc threatened to sue Elon Musk for US$100 million, sank without a trace.
In short, the history of Escobar Inc since its reincorporation in 2014 does not fill us with any confidence that the Fold 1 or Fold 2 will ever reach buyers. Hopefully, we are proven wrong, though.