Wileyfox, the UK-based manufacturer famed for releasing high-spec handsets at low prices, has gone into administration—a British procedure similar to bankruptcy.
A former employee going by the username ‘Wileyfox-Jack’ revealed the news on Reddit. "Wileyfox Europe Limited is in Administration. Andrew Andronikou and Andrew Hosking are appointed joint administrators and act jointly and severely without personal liability," he wrote.
"As of now I no longer work for Wileyfox, I will still try to provide some support for you but it will no longer be official. I'm afraid I won't be able to answer such questions as 'What will happen to my phone that's off for repair.' I will try to answer what questions I can that you ask but I don't have many nor can I provide many answers.”
"Today is a sad day not just because I lost my job but because I believed in the Wileyfox brand."
Whether Wileyfox shuts down completely may depend on the administrators being able to restructure the company’s debts or find a buyer. The firm’s website is no longer selling its handsets but they are still available on Amazon UK, and Wileyfox continues to be listed as active on its UK Companies House listing. The firm is expected to release an official statement soon.
In 2015, Wileyfox launched its first two handsets—the Swift and the Storm—which both ran the now-defunct Android alternative Cyanogen OS. Costing just $200 and $315 and boasting some impressive hardware for budget models, they received plenty of respectable reviews. But the follow-up Spark phones weren’t as well received. The company started developing its own ROM after Cyanogen announced it was shutting down its Android development team.
Last year, Wileyfox started offering up to 42 percent off its devices if customers bought the “Add-X” versions, which placed ads on the devices' lockscreens.