It seems that the shortest stories are the best. But in the case of Essential, the company founded by Andy Rubin and designer of the Essential Phone, the story will have been both short and not very memorable. The company indeed announces today the cessation of its activities through a publication on its official blog .
The GEM Project will never see the light of day
The Essential Phone (PH-1) is therefore the only project of the brand to have succeeded, even though the company had announced in October 2019 the development of the GEM Project involving the creation of a smartphone in a slightly particular format, all in length. “Despite all our efforts, we have carried the GEM Project as far as possible and unfortunately we have no way of delivering it to customers , we can read in the press release. Given this, we made the difficult decision to cease all operations and close Essential. ”
For the (rare) users of PH-1, the bad news is coupled with the cessation of the brand’s customer support, the security update deployed on February 3 serving as the last patch. Developers and other hackers will however have access to resources offered by the brand on GitHub, allowing them to continue to make their PH-1 live independently. Finally, Essential announces the closure of Newton Mail, scheduled for April 30, 2020, even though the service had been bought by the manufacturer in December 2018.
A meager commercial success
When it was launched, Essential had aroused the enthusiasm of the Android community. It must be said that the brand is worn by Andy Rubin, presented as the founder of the mobile operating system. But despite the great promises and more than 300 million dollars raised from prestigious investors, commercial success was not there for the PH-1.
The ambitious smartphone nevertheless offers a semi-modular design, with accessories to clip onto a magnetic surface, as well as a stripped-down interface that is updated at the same rate as the Google Pixels. The meager sales recorded in the first months quickly led to a drop in its price, then the cessation of marketing and the dismissal of 30% of the company’s workforce.
As we mentioned a few months ago, Andy Rubin’s image has also deteriorated since the launch of Essential in 2017 for facts dating from his time at Google. For example, Google had been accused of having suppressed cases of sexual harassment, some of them concerning Andy Rubin