Chasing its Tail? Foxx Goes Public as Smartphone Sales Plateau

Electronics company Foxx Development Inc. announced that it would be going public via a SPAC acquisition by Acri Capital Acquisition Corporation in a deal valued at $50 million. Upon closing, Foxx expects to trade on Nasdaq.

“Foxx, established in 2017 as a Texas incorporated company, is a consumer electronics and integrated Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution company catering to both retail and institutional clients,” according to the company’s press release. “FOXX currently sells a diverse range of products including mobile phones, tablets and other consumer electronics devices throughout the United States.”

Foxx operates in a rapidly changing market. Mobile phones were adopted over a relatively long period as the expensive bricks of the 1980s morphed into the affordable flip phones of the 1990s. Smartphones, on the other hand, were among the most rapidly adopted technologies in U.S. history.

Technically, the first official smartphone was launched in 1992 by IBM. This IBM Simon Personal Communicator had a battery life of just 1 hour and included a touch screen that required a stylus. The first camera phone did not arrive until Sharp’s phone was released in 2000 and phones did not connect to the internet via 3G until 2001.

Apple kicked off the era of smartphones as we know them today when the company brought these features together in 2007 with the iPhone. As Steve Jobs described it, this “revolutionary and magical product” provided consumers with full internet access, a touchscreen, camera, and music capabilities alongside calling services. This kicked off a technology arms race among providers to capture the market, and consumers adopted these smartphones in droves. In just over 6 years, over 70% of the U.S. consumers had adopted the new devices – this compares to televisions taking nearly 16 years to match this level of market penetration and the internet taking over 21 years. 

Source: FS Insight

With such rapid adoption, worldwide sales rose exponentially in the early years; however, the market became saturated by the late 2010s when sales began to plateau – and even declined during the pandemic. Companies like Foxx are counting on consumers’ appetite for these and other electronics as they upgrade to new models.

Smartphones Sold to End Users Worldwide (in million units)

Source: Statista

According to DealPulse’s M&A database, which harnesses both AI and attorneys to digest the granular deal points of publicly-announced transactions, Foxx is advised by law firm
VCL Law LLP. Acri Capital Acquisition Corporation is advised by Robinson & Cole LLP.