A report says that the "Essential Phone 2" is no longer happening. The smartphone startup is also said to have been put up for sale.
Now cofounder of Essential and Android Andy Rubin has responded to the claim that the successor to the Essential PH-1 has been scrapped, but he did not say anything about the company being sold off.
Citing "people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg reports that Essential has hired Credit Suisse Group AG as an advisor for a possible sale and that at least one buyer has shown interest in it.
It continues to say that the deal includes Essential's patent portfolio and hardware, from the Essential PH-1 to a mobile camera accessory and a smart home device. The sale will also likely include the company's workforce, such as the talents hired from Google and Apple.
As mentioned earlier, the report claims that plans for a follow-up to the Essential PH-1 have been shelved, and Rubin has this to say about that:
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. — Andy Rubin (@Arubin) May 24, 2018
The Bottom Line
The report isn't a bit of a stretch, considering that the Essential PH-1 hasn't been doing well in terms of sales. Essential resorted to a $200 price drop back in October and various discounts to increase sales, including a promo code that can be used to reduce the cost of the device by $200 or a free Essential 360 Camera. Bloomberg says the smartphone maker has sold 150,000 units so far.
Back in August, Essential rolled out its first smartphone, presumably a manifestation of Rubin's vision of what an Android flagship should be. Though it was met with open arms, it faced a lot of struggles in becoming one of the biggest names in the industry, including but not limited to touch-screen issues and a camera that couldn't deliver.
It should be mentioned that this doesn't mean Essential is closing up shop. According to Bloomberg, the company is looking for another manufacturer besides Foxconn to build a device and continue the Essential brand. That way, it can stay in the smartphone game and get out of the difficult development process at the same time.