Essential, the maker of the Essential phone, is reportedly looking for a new owner.
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Another year, another smartphone manufacturer who goes away. After LeEco nearly went bankrupt in the middle of 2017, and Wileyfox who was put in administration recently, it seems this time it’s the turn to Essential, the maker of the Essential phone, to bid a… temporary goodbye?
The company, Essential Products Inc., co-founded by Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, is reportedly looking for a new buyer. Created in 2015, the start-up managed to raise 300 million $ from multiple investors, including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Amazon.com Inc., as well as extra funding from its manufacturing partner Foxconn (known for manufacturing Apple’s devices).
It’s first phone, the Essential Phone PH-1, had a certain popularity among the Stock Android crowd, but didn’t manage to touch a very large public, thus being labelled as a “failure”. After launching, the device sold poorly until the price was reduced by 200$, and finally managed to sell less than 100K units in a 6-months timeframe.
One thing worth noting is that the Essential phone was one the first devices with almost no screen bezels, released a few months before the iPhone X and its very commented notch. The Essential phone itself had a very weird looking notch before the iPhone, with the shape of a keyhole.
The company supposedly cancelled their second phone, but will focus on other products, such as smart home devices, competing against Amazon’s Eco.
The sale would include not only the company and products themselves, but its patent portfolio as well.