The brother of infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar has his sights set on the lucrative smartphone market, unveiling a gold, foldable phone that he claims is unbreakable.
Roberto Escobar, 71, has claimed he wants to ‘beat Apple’ and claimed he was planning to sue Apple in a $30bn lawsuit.
Escobar, who was the accountant and co-founder of the cocaine-smuggling Medellin Cartel, unveiled the $349 (£265) “Escobar Fold 1” with a selection of promotional stills with Pablo Escobar’s mugshot as the phone’s background and a video with scantily-clad models.
Similar to Samsung’s £1900 Galaxy Fold, Escobar’s phone features a flexible screen that can fold outward into a tablet.
According to Escobar Inc. CEO Olof Gustafsson the screen is made of a proprietary plastic that “makes it almost unbreakable,” claiming that it is the “most durable telephone screen on the market.”
“Our phone has gone through rigorous testing,” Gustafsson told CNN. “The only true way to break our phone is to burn it, which I would imagine an average user would not do.”
Escobar said: “I have made one of the first foldable smartphones in the world. Thanks to effective production and no special deals with retailers, we have been able to keep costs low as compared to other manufacturers. The Escobar Fold 1 is the best smartphone in the world right now.”
Escobar Inc said that the phone was designed in the US, will be produced in Hong Kong and features ‘unique technology and design’.
But there has been accusations that the Escobar Fold 1 is a rebrand of the Chinese flexible display company Royole’s ‘FlexPai’ phone, which was launched as the world’ first foldable phone in 2018. Escobar’s phone shares the same specifications, while the foldable, wraparound design appears to be identical, save for the gold coating.
Royole also claim that the FlexPai is ‘virtually unbreakable’, but technology website The Verge called the phone ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘charmingly awful’.
Escobar says that he is targeting Apple with his new product and plans to sue the Californian iPhone-maker for being ‘scammers’
“I have told many people that I would beat Apple and I will,” Escobar told Digital Trends. “I cut the networks and retailers, to sell to customers phones that can fold for only $349. Phones which in stores cost thousands of dollars by Samsung and others. This is my goal, to beat Apple and by doing it myself like I always have”
“They are scammers, and now we are preparing the class-action lawsuit,” Escobar added. “They are cheating the people and selling worthless phones to consumers, overpriced. My lawyers have been ready for long time, but before I sue them and give money back to the people which they deserve, I wanted to show them that my product is much better.
“On January 6 of next year, 2020, the $30 billion class-action lawsuit will be filed in the courts of California of America. We want Apple to give some of their illegal profits back to the people. I will make sure of it. I have spent almost $1 million just on lawyers to begin this lawsuit.”
This is not the first time that Escobar has threatened legal action against Silicon Valley giants. In October, Escobar told The Telegraph that he planned to file a $100m case against Elon Musk’s The Boring Company for intellectual property theft, claiming Musk stole his idea for a flamethrower. The Boring Company is yet to comment on the accusation.
Escobar also demanded a $1bn payment from Netflix in 2017 for ‘unauthorised footage’ used in the streaming service’s series Narcos, which chronicled the Medellin Cartel’s sprawling cocaine-smuggling operation. Netflix’s lawyers said there was no case to answer and Gustafsson claims the matter was settled privately.