Essential, a company founded by Andy Rubin with an aim to create easy-to-use devices tailored for the most important needs, this week announced its cease of operations.

Andy Rubin, the man who headed creation of Google’s Android operating system, founded Essential back in 2015. It took the company two years to develop and build its first Essential PH-1 smartphone that came in a titanium body with a ceramic back, featured a minimalistic iPhone 5-like design, had a large edge-to-edge display with a raindrop camera for selfies, and ran ‘pure’ Android without any fancy UI. The handset looked rather innovative in 2017, but all of its main features (except expensive materials) appeared months later on cheaper or more popular devices, so the product lost a substantial part of its appeal. As a consequence, sales of the PH-1 were negligible.

After the company launched its first handset, it promised to release more hardware and software products, including a smart home assistant, a variety of accessories for the PH-1, and even its own operating system. Eventually, only a 360-degree camera, and a 3.5-mm audio jack adapter emerged on the market.

Back in October, the company introduced its Project Gem mobile experience, which involved a small smartphone with basic functionality, which was supposed to turn the company around, or at least attract new investors. Apparently, Essential does not have ‘a path’ to finish development of Gem, which is why (at least officially) it has to close its doors. (This means they had 'no avenue to deliver the product to consumers'.)

The statement from the company reads as follows:

“Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential.”

Essential will cease offering updated Android OS to its PH-1 customers starting immediately and its February 3 security update is the last one for the PH-1 to be released by the company. Also, Essential will shut down Newton Mail service on April 30, 2020. Fans of the device who know how to build software, will be able to get prebuilt of the PH-1 vendor image and everything else needed to keep hacking the smartphone on Essential’s github.

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Sources: Essential

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  • shabby - Thursday, February 13, 2020 - link

    He should retire, his name is tarnished.
  • plonk420 - Thursday, February 13, 2020 - link

    oh! oh! can i apply the same idea to Trump?
  • shabby - Thursday, February 13, 2020 - link

    It seems being the president is like starring in a daily soap opera so no, it's his job to be an idiot.
  • Ithaqua - Thursday, February 13, 2020 - link

    He's doing an absolutely fantastic job then.
  • Yojimbo - Thursday, February 13, 2020 - link

    When I read this I thought "man, we need an extension of Godwin's Law to cover Trump", but then I realized that we really don't, since Trump is literally Hitler.
  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    One could replace "literally" with "figuratively" by default, and it would be correct more often than not. No, Trump is not Hitler.
  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    You're also utterly belittling the plight of those killed and tortured under Hitler's regime. Comparing systematic genocide, torture and "medical" experiments to Trump is absolutely distasteful.
  • Spunjji - Friday, February 14, 2020 - link

    Comparing what Hitler became to what Hitler was at the same stage of his career as Trump doesn't help either, though.

    No, Trump is not "literally Hitler" in anything but a hyperbolic sense. Yes, he is an equally dangerous threat to US democracy as Hitler was to German democracy. He has the potential to precipitate similar levels of damage on the world stage.

    The fact that fascists have learned to be a little more circumspect about how they carry out their campaigns is not cause for celebration *when the fascists are in charge*.
  • Smell This - Saturday, February 15, 2020 - link

    It's not fascism when the Grand Ol' Party does it.

    Same thing with Republican Socialism __ privatizing profits for the .001% versus socializing losses for the rest of us (i.e., Wall Street Banksters 'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction', the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (snicker), health care, public infrastructure, al
  • Spunjji - Monday, February 17, 2020 - link

    Indeed. What drives me nuts is that all of that nonsense requires the consent of the people being ripped off... and they keep giving it enthusiastically, because so many of them are invested in the con.

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