Essential cancels next phone

Essential cancels next phone
Essential, the company that created the first phone with an edge-to-edge screen and a notch, has cancelled the Essential Phone 2 and the company is instead now focused on seeking a buyer for its ailing business, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

The shocking news comes almost exactly one year after the company unveiled its marquee phone, the Essential PH-1, on May 25th, 2017. The phone launched with an ambitious ceramic-titanium design and features the fastest chip available at the time, the Snapdragon 835, but it suffered from a variety of issues, from touch input issues to a sub-par camera. The phone was deemed a commercial failure in the first few months of availability as it sold only 20,000 units. Essential reacted by dropping the original $700 price down to $500, a substantial $200 price cut, and Bloomberg says overall sales of the device reached 150,000 units. In comparison, Google's own series of Pixel phones, popular among Android enthusiasts, sold 3.9 million units in 2017, and Pixel phones are not quite as popular as devices by other companies like Samsung.

So is this the end of the road for Essential? While it certainly seems so, the company is rumored to be working on a smart home product that is expected to be released next year. This mysterious product could be an Amazon Echo smart speaker rival that the company spoke about earlier, but has not said much about since then.

Interestingly, the same report also mentions that Essential has earlier considered staying in the phone game, just not by a phone of its own design, but by relying on China-based manufacturer Foxconn. Those plans seem to have little chance of being realized in the current situation.


At the end of the day, the focus of the company currently seems to be on selling everything and even transferring its workforce to a new owner.

Essential has issued an official statement that does not deny this latest report:

“We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace canceling some in favor of the ones we think will be bigger hits. We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products,” Essential said.

Company founder Andy Rubin, the man who started the Android operating system project, has added one more piece of information to the current situation by saying that “no one (including me at this moment) knows what the best thing for the company will be.” The company is said to be “working with bankers to raise money.”

At the same time, Rubin has confirmed that “we are not shutting down the company.”

And this just once again goes to show how tough the phone industry is. The original Essential Phone might not have been a hit with users, but it did show some promise: developers religiously pushed out updates on a regular basis for it and improved the device a lot since its launch. It's not clear what will happen to the current device and how (and whether) it will be supported.

Related phones

Phone
  • Display 5.7" 1312 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3040 mAh

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25 Comments

1. Basharhd99

Posts: 100; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

I'm so sad i was waiting for the ph2 :(

7. scarface21173

Posts: 645; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Essential changed the mobile industry with the 1st notched phone, FACT.

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3106; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Ans sheeple will say "but but.. iPhoneX designed before PH1 announced, and PH1 just copying iPhoneX's design from rumor". As if they can design PH1 from scratch and announce it in just 2-3 months, SMH..

13. DolmioMan

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

No they didn’t... I think notched phones were going to be the next big thing regardless of whether it was Apple, Essential or anyone else releasing the phone first. The iPhone X style notch has been most popular though.

23. SIGPRO

Posts: 2813; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Sharp Aquos S was the first phone with a notch and not the Essential PH-1

2. Sealblaighter

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

He did not say he would cancel the mobile phone business, you people think a little bit??

10. Sealblaighter

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Where he did say he has cancelled the successor?

3. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1300; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

What seriously injured the Essential Phone PH-1 was incredibly poor reviews, due to a lot of software issues and poor optimization at release and after several updates resolved most of those issues, no one really cared. They had all the hype needed to make it a hit, a phone by Android's creator, amazing body, design and specs, it just got eviscerated in the reviews.

8. midan

Posts: 2597; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"they had all the hype needed to make it a hit," Hit??!?! what are you smoking? :D i want same. what hype!?!?!? Outside tech world hardly no-one in this world knows word Essential phone and like i said we know there's better choices. So i have no idea how you think this phone could have been hit? It could have been the best phone in the world with amazing hardware and it would still have been big flop.

4. NateDiaz

Posts: 1084; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Why would they release a successor when the original sold 50k units only?

5. midan

Posts: 2597; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Very good decision, i have no idea what they were thinking when they released the first one. Waste of time and waste of money. People aren't buying phone which name they have never heard and people who knows the name knows there's better choices, so who they thought will buy one?

6. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1300; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

No one cares what you think

25. midan

Posts: 2597; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Did i hurt your feelings? :)

9. scarface21173

Posts: 645; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Why did people buy the oneplus phones, a name nobody had heard of. Reviews basically.

11. Trex95

Posts: 2376; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

One plus part of Oppo crop.

14. DolmioMan

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

OnePlus had a well priced product that became a phenomena amongst a certain group of people, as they grew they began partnerships with carriers (O2 in the U.K.) and their most expensive phone is still less than $200 cheaper than the launch price Essential phone.

15. midan

Posts: 2597; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

4 years is a very long time, market were very different 4 years ago, now the competition is so big. I think the price was big factory for oneplus success and also their invite thing, it made it special. People got interested what is the phone which they can't get and eventually it was available for everyone.

16. Mikele

Posts: 122; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Exactly!!

24. Trex95

Posts: 2376; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Not only the price the main reason don’t forget performance and specs.

19. DocOc

Posts: 143; Member since: Apr 23, 2014

Actually the phone is great and I've never had an issue with it. Even all the complaining about the camera is exaggerated. I can't believe how spoiled we've become that we complain about a phone that produces slightly more grainy pictures in darker situations. For those, like me, that don't want to be tied to a carrier and like a pure Android experience, there isn't a better phone out there for the money. I really hope they pick back up with their phone development.

17. Icent55

Posts: 66; Member since: Nov 02, 2017

I remembered when he was bashing Samsung at the opening interview of the essential phone, that was when i knew it wont be successful...U aint in yet and u already salty? Sorry bye bye

18. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Is what it is, but not giving mine up for any other phone for a long time yet. Jmtc.

20. wabajak13

Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 02, 2018

Had one for a few days, one of the most frustrating phones I've ever used. Everyone said they got better with software, but i don't have the patience to wait months for an essential (no pun intended) part of my life to be usable. Plus it just felt like a dense brick of glass in my hand, nothing fun about it in my mind. Still, a little sad they aren't going to get the chance to refine it, I do think they had some promise.

21. tokuzumi

Posts: 1843; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Kind of a bummer. Essential got off on the wrong foot, and that really hurt them. I don't think they were ever able to recover. I think if they would have taken the OnePlus route, selling the phone at a much cheaper price, rather than the $700 beta device they released, the user base would have been much more understanding and accepting. I still think the Essential phone is one of the best looking devices over the last few years.

22. SIGPRO

Posts: 2813; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Sharp Aquos S was the first phone with a notch and not the Essential PH-1

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