Try searching for online retailers that stock unlocked smartphones. Go on, I’ll wait. Chances are, the results that emerged took you to some dark, dark corners of the internet, and you’re probably deathly afraid of trusting any of them. For over seven years now, Negri Electronics has stood as one of the few online shops that offered legitimate, non-stolen devices of the unlocked variety, while also boasting a healthy amount of unique (LG G Flex, anyone?) and international handsets. Ryan Negri, the site’s founder, has consistently located hard-to-find unlocked units for a number of media outlets, and he’s offered me a bit of insight into the shop’s future.
A week ago, the site was sold to First Ascent, a private equity firm based in New York. The aforesaid Negri is remaining onboard as acting CEO until the permanent CEO is fully situated, and he assured me that the top-shelf customer service that served to relieve the fears of buying unlocked and international goods will remain intact. While the terms of the deal are being kept under wraps, Negri asserts that the new availability of resources will enable the site to exert “greater purchasing power,” as well as an “improved ability to fulfill large volume orders from [its] enterprise customers.”
Negri also expects to be able to source new wares from Japan and Korea even faster than he can now, which ought to come in handy once those octacore monsters start shipping post-Mobile World Congress. All things considered, it looks one of the web’s best places to buy an unlocked phone is about to get even better next year.