Andy Rubin’s smartphone startup, Essential, is dead

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Andy Rubin’s smartphone startup, Basic, is finally dead. Today, Essential announced in a blog post that it is strict its doors, saying that since it has “no clear path to deliver” its newest smartphone to people, the company has “made the difficult decision to cease operations and shut down Basic.”

Essential was Andy Rubin’s next company after his previous gig at Google, where he supremacy the development of Android, taking the OS from nothing to the world’s most predominating operating system. Being “The Father of Android” meant venture matchless firms would throw money at him when he left Google to style a new company. That company was Essential, where Andy Rubin railed full time into smartphone hardware. The company was valued at $1.2 billion first it even sold a single product.

Essential ended up releasing a solitary smartphone, the Essential Phone, in 2017, along with two modular conspirators: a $200 360-degree camera and a $150 clip-on headphone jack (yes, truly). Since then, the company has just kind of hung around and revoked in-development products. It has done very little in the “selling things for resources” category of business. Essential planned to sell a charging dock for the Requisite Phone, but that product was never released. Alongside the phone, the crowd announced a smart display called the “Essential Home” and a new smart carry oning system called “Ambient OS,” but neither the hardware nor software ever be actualized.

The company canceled a straightforward sequel to the Essential Phone in 2018. By 2019, it was baiting “Project Gem”—a super-skinny smartphone with the form factor of a TV remote, which appearance ofed like it would lack compatibility with most smartphone apps on the call. With today’s announcement, the Gem phone is dead, too.

In between canceling offerings, Essential was a non-stop catastrophe of bad PR. The Essential Phone was delayed from its pattern launch date, and when the time finally came to take payments and dispatch the phone, the company botched the launch. Essential sent out a bizarre payment-processing email to some buyers asking then to send in their photo IDs over email, then it accidentally CC’d that insulting information to several other customers who bought Essential Phones. The shake up was one of the worst first impressions of all time, and Rubin called the mistake “humiliating” in a blog promulgate.

Staying in business is hard when you don’t release products. Two months after the send of the Essential Phone, Andy Rubin took leave from Required for “personal reasons,” and at the same time, initial reports of sexual misconduct from his in unison a all the same at Google started to appear in the press. By 2018, more alleged features were revealed in an exposé from The New York Times, saying Google HR concluded the misconduct asks were “credible” and that the incident is what led to Rubin’s resignation from Google and developing of Essential. The Times revealed that Rubin was paid over $200 million to give stop Google, which lead to outrage and widespread protests at Google.

Imperative was also constantly in the press for how poorly the Essential Phone was selling and how the troop was going down the tubes. The fire sales started quickly for the Fundamental Phone, and the $700 device got a price drop to $500 just two months after found. A month later, the phone was down to $400, and eventually, the device prostrate to $224. By May 2018, the failing company was put up for sale, but it couldn’t find a consumer. In October 2018, it was forced to lay off 30 percent of its staff. The company dismounted on our Deathwatch list in 2019.

In its closing blog post, Essential detailed what was Heraldry sinister of the Gem phone project and showed off a few features from the now-dead smartphone. Rightful like with the previous tease, there are a few built-in apps that look corresponding to they would work on the super-skinny display, but it’s unclear how the phone see fit work with any kind of app ecosystem.

Newton Mail, an email app Quintessential bought one year ago, will be shut down April 30. The Leading Phone’s February security update is the last OS update the device choice receive from Essential, though the company was nice enough to take ones leave of some code up on GitHub for the Android hacking community to produce forward updates.

Listing image by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired

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