The Essential Phone only started shipping two months ago, but its price has already been dropped by $200, bringing its price tag from $699 down to $499.
Essential said in a blog post that it simply wants to make it easier for customers to "experience our products and our brand." A price drop by $200 will certainly help with that, but the decision was certainly influenced by certain factors.
Essential Phone Sales Not Doing Well
In its blog post announcing the change, the Essential took a swipe at Apple and Google by saying that the $200 price reduction will help more customers know more about the company and its products instead of a massive TV campaign.
However, the price cut underscores a bigger problem for Essential. While Essential Phone reviews have mostly been positive, Essential Phone sales have languished with only 5,000 units of the device sold as of near the end of September.
The hype over the Essential Phone was certainly there as Rubin's latest project, with specifications and features that rival, and in some cases even exceed, those of the flagship smartphones of other companies. However, interest in the device gradually declined due to the successive delays of its launch to the market. It was initially expected to launch in June, but it only started shipping in late August.
The availability of the Essential Phone is also extremely limited compared to competitors. The Essential Phone can be only be purchased in the United States, and in addition, it is a Sprint exclusive.
Essential Phone vs Other Flagship Smartphones
The Essential Phone is a worthy challenger in the smartphone industry, but its price drop comes at a time when other devices are experiencing problems of their own.
Apple is currently looking into the cases of iPhone 8 Plus swelling batteries, which is drawing comparisons to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle of last year. The Google Pixel 2 XL is also experiencing some issues, including a screen burn-in problem.
If Essential is looking to draw customers away from its competitors, now might be the perfect time.
Essential Phone Owners To Receive $200
Customers who purchased the Essential Phone for the previous price of $699, meanwhile, will not have to feel slighted with the recently announced price drop.
Essential also announced that the early supporters of the Essential Phone will receive a $200 "friends & family" code that can be used on the company's online store. The credit can be used to purchase one of the Essential Phone's modules, though currently the only one available is the Essential 360 Camera, or it can also be added toward the purchase of another Essential Phone.