Essential, a company founded in 2015 by Andy Rubin, creator of Android, is closing its doors. As a result, the company will no longer support Essential Phone with new security updates. In addition, Newton Mail, which Essential acquired when it bought developer CloudMagic in 2018, will cease to function on May 1.
Reports indicate that the device may adopt a different format focused on artificial intelligence
In its blog, Essential cites Project Gem, its concept phone presented at the end of last year and its inability to find "a clear path" to take the device to consumers as the main reason for the closure.
The company's situation had not been very good for some years. In 2018, it fired about 30% of its employees.
"Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that would integrate more perfectly with people's lifestyle needs," writes the company. "Despite our best efforts, we took Project Gem as far as we could and, unfortunately, we have no clear path to deliver it to customers. As a result, we made the difficult decision to cease operations and close Essential."
Throughout its five-year history, Essential has always been more associated with founder Andy Rubin. When the company announced Essential Phone in 2017, its only major launch, Essential relied on the fact that Rubin was one of the creators of Android to market the device. The device was the first cell phone with "notch", a notch on the screen normally used to accommodate the front camera.
In the same year, however, The Information and later The New York Times published reports detailing the exact reasons for Rubin's departure from Google in 2014.
According to both, Google reportedly asked Rubin to leave the company after an internal investigation found that he had an improper relationship with a subordinate. Rubin was reportedly paid $ 90 million to remain silent about the circumstances of his departure from the company.
Although Essential's fate was probably sealed when Essential Phone failed to sell enough units (mainly because of its $ 699 launch price), Rubin's connection to the company probably killed any chance of possible success.
And in a way, it is surprising that it took so long for the company to announce its closure. Last October it was reported that Playground Global, the venture capital firm that Rubin founded after leaving Google, had severed ties with its creator. Playground invested in both Essential fundraising rounds, in which the company managed to secure a total of $ 330 million. With the ties severed, it is likely that the company had difficulty securing additional funding.
Source: Essential, Engadget
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