I thought gadget journalism was dead but thanks to Marques Brownlee I’m pleased to note it’s very much alive and well. Case in point: Brownlee has been following the saga of the Escobar Fold 2 and, when this unit finally shipped, he discovered it was just a Galaxy Fold with a sticker on it.
The whole story is worth watching but basically the company wanted to send Brownlee a unit, he declined, and he paid for two units that he never received. Suddenly, however, after calling out the company on Twitter, a Fold arrived at his house and he opened it, revealing a phone that was literally the same size and shape as the Samsung phone. A bit of whittling later and he was able to remove the spine sticker and the back plastic, revealing, quite literally, a Samsung phone.
Why this happened is unclear but the founder of the company, Olof Gustafsson, is the worst kind of viral marketer. From a reddit thread:
The thread was started in 2011 when he received media attention due to running a couple of businesses at 17 years old. In interviews with media he stated that his goal was to become a billionaire in the future. The reactions in the forum thread were a bit mixed, but mostly it was people reacting negatively to Olof’s bold claims about becoming rich and his general boasting.
The business in question was focusing on selling comics and doing some basic web design work. There were even reports back then of people not receiving their orders when buying comics from Olof on Ebay. The company this was all running under, Affideer AB, was registered to his father. Interestingly enough, it’s the same Swedish company that is being used to take Escobar Fold orders today.
Olof clearly liked the attention he received and he has continued making headlines since teaming up with Roberto Escobar.
He also has a few examples of shady behavior online. That said, he made a huge splash on the internet with this damn phone and I suppose everyone except Brownlee and his pen-knife are to blame.
- Escobar Inc CEO Olof Gustafsson lays out his billion dollar claim on Netflix Escobar Inc is a company co-owned by Roberto Escobar
- Olof’s old made-up company ‘Van Banco’
- Pablo Escobar’s brother threatens to ‘take down’ Elon Musk in flamethrower row
- ‘Narcos’ Goes East? A Dubai Art Dealer, Pablo Escobar’s Brother and a Cache of Possibly Fake Art
Do not buy this phone. Don’t do it. You won’t get one and you definitely won’t be happy.