Essential, by Andy Rubin, will close its activities
After less than three years of operation, the handset maker Essential announced on Wednesday, 12, that it will end its activities. The company was founded by Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, and drew attention in 2017 for promising a phone with good specifications, a modular device design and a 'pure' Android experience.
"We made the difficult decision to close operations and close Essential," says the company on its blog. During its operation, the company marketed a single product, Essential Phone. At the time it looked promising: it was the first cell phone with a large area dedicated to the panel, betting only on a small notch for the front camera region. It also promised a modular system, in which accessories such as a camera and charger were magnetically coupled to the body of the device.
The excitement was short-lived. In the same year, Apple launched the iPhone X, which popularized the notch among different manufacturers. And the company was unable to deliver more than two modules, a 360-degree camera and an adapter for headphones input – both at a high price: $ 150. The price of the device itself was not very inviting: $ 700. to this, the fact that the company has never been able to leave the USA, where it was marketed by a single cellular operator.
In addition to the difficulties common to the industry, Rubin was the protagonist of a sexual scandal at the time of the launch of Essential Phone. A report by The Information showed that the executive left Google because of an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. At the time, she reportedly reported to superiors that she was harassed, which would have motivated an internal investigation in the company to investigate the case. In response to the case, Rubin said that the relationships he had during his time at Google were consensual and that he did not get involved with anyone on his command line.
The following year, the New York Times showed that Google hushed up cases of harassment from the executive and decided to pay $ 90 million for the decision. After the report, Google saw a wave of protests from employees themselves about the company's attitudes towards sexual harassment. Shareholders of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have even filed a lawsuit against the company's board of directors.
With competition that quickly adapted and the image melted, Essential has never managed to make some of its promises a reality, such as its own operating system and connected speaker. A successor to Essential Phone was canceled and sales of the first device skated – there were only 90,000 units in the first six months on the market. In October 2019, the company unveiled a new cell phone design, with a design similar to that of a remote control, but now Essential says it didn't have a clear design for it.
In the same post, Essential says it will not make any more updates to the operating system and that Newton Mail, the company's email platform, will be disabled. Essential will run until April 30.