Andy Rubin, one of the founding fathers of the Android mobile operating system, is calling quits on his company Essential. Essential is just over a year old and originated by a group of recruits from other tech companies to create an ‘essential’ smartphone running Android that would be customizable, easy to update, less-bloated, and AI proficient. The company did just that with its Essential PH-1, but while developing a new model, big news struck the firm out of nowhere.
There will be no future Essential Phone because Essential is being put up for sale. We were hoping to see an Essential PH-1 successor like very soon, but hope for it came to a sudden halt less than a week ago. Whoever ends up owning Essential could always change the company’s plans, but the future is very in doubt. For now, Essential continues to operate some divisions and confirmed that Essential PH-1 will continue to receive support for the next several years. So if you own the device, there’s your good news.
Essential is reportedly looking to sell the entire company. This includes all the talent, key patents, and developments thus far. According to Bloomberg, less than 150,000 Essential Phones may have been sold. This is just a fraction of what the company needs to sell to turn a profit and sufficient funds to invest in worthy R&D. If you’re familiar with smartphone sales, you know this is far from an impressive figure, even for a start-up like Essential who showed a lot of promise early on. For the time being, Essential has reportedly shifted focus over to the Essential Home, which still after a year has not released on the market. Despite being late to the game, Rubin believes this will be a “game-changing” product. Following this announcement by the CEO, it was reported that Essential is “working with bankers to raise money,” that an acquisition could also be on the cards, and that somebody is already interested in takeover.
It has been a roller-coaster ride for Essential over the last year, and while for many the Essential PH-1 was a disaster because of its delayed release and various issues, it brought a new design and promise to the Android space. There was something different about Essential that resonated with Android fans, and at many points in time it looked as though the company had a lot of potential. Despite a number of issues with trademarks, the PH-1’s camera, and software, Essential pushed a lot of updates and the phone felt like it got better with time. The price of the phone dropped incredibly with retailers selling at massive price reductions for 8 or more months, which made the phone worth buying despite some of the issues. Rumored features for the second model such as a better camera, fixes in software, and a bezel-less design with a pop-up selfie camera got many looking forward to the next model. But this goes to show that even great companies can fail. As of right now, we know nothing further about the future of Essential including the potential buyer, though news will be made public shall any kind of deal happen so we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything big.
What did you think of the Essential we once knew? Are you sad to see it go so soon? Would you have liked to see an Essential Phone 2? Leave any thoughts down in the comments.