Bloomberg: ‘Andy Rubin Puts Essential Up for Sale, Cancels Next Phone’

Mark Gurman and Alex Barinka, reporting for Bloomberg:

Essential Products Inc., a startup co-founded by Android creator Andy Rubin that launched last year to great fanfare, is considering selling itself and has canceled development of a new smartphone, according to people familiar with the matter.


The original phone immediately struggled as buyers complained about poor camera capabilities, issues with the touchscreen and problems making phone calls. It also didn’t sell well. The phone’s initial price was $699, the same as an iPhone viewed as a competitor. At that price, the company sold as few as 20,000 units across its website and third-party distribution partners, one of the people said. Last October, Essential lowered the price by $200, which boosted sales. The company has sold at least 150,000 to date, according to the person familiar with the company.

To put that in context against Essential’s closest competitor, IDC estimates Google sold around 3.9 million Pixel and Pixel 2 phones in 2017.

Thursday, 24 May 2018