Published: Fri, May 25, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Essential May Cancel Second Phone Amid Rumored Company Sale

Essential May Cancel Second Phone Amid Rumored Company Sale

The startup which was launched by Android OS founder Andy Rubin barely a year ago, had even launched its first smartphone the Essential PH-1.

The company reportedly canceled the development of a new smartphone, the report says, and it's looking to sell itself. Apparently, Credit Suisse is advising on a sale, and there's at least one suitor interested in Essential's business. He, however, made it clear the company isn't shutting down. It's unclear if Essential will continue to support the existing Essential Phone, but we'll be sure to let you know as these details come to light.

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Rubin, 55, who has been developing phones for nearly 20 years, formed Palo Alto, California-based Playground after leaving Google in 2014.

The company had been working on a new [phone], but has since canceled development of the device. It runs Android and the handset is targeting the top end of the market; the bezel appears thinner than the edge display seen on Samsung's latest flagships, and its display measures 5.7in with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,312. It has also shifted its engineers and other resources to an upcoming smart home product, which is expected to launch sometime next year. Having products that further along in the development process would also potentially allow a sale of Essential to be more valuable. The phone's initial price was $699, the same as an iPhone viewed as a competitor. You know that weird people like me love it, but the phone was filled with all sorts of issues and required a steep and permanent price drop nearly immediately in order for the company to move any inventory. It had a number of problems that had to be fixed with software updates, and sales were slow enough that the price has now been dropped to just $399.99. The company debuted its first smartphone named Essential PH-1 amid a lot of fanfare but IDC estimates it to have sold fewer than 90,000 units in its first six months. The publication cited Brian Wallace, the original vice president of marketing, and Joe Tate, the head of hardware engineering, as examples of Essential's inner turmoil.

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