Andy Rubin's Essential Shutting Down, Newton Mail Service Ending Too

Back in 2015, Andy Rubin, the co-founder of the Android operating system, started up a company called Essential, focusing on smartphones. Essential launched its Essential Phone PH-1 in 2017, debuting a 5.71-inch device made from titanium and ceramic with an edge-to-edge QHD display.

The Essential Phone was praised for its design, but reviews found faults with the camera, the display, and other features, and it was never popular enough to compete with flagship smartphones from other companies.

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The Essential Phone

Essential in October 2019 announced the Gem, a replacement for the Essential Phone, but the Gem is never going to see a release because Essential today announced that it is shutting down.

Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people's lifestyle needs. 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 last year acquired the CloudMagic team and its cross-platform Newton Mail app, which is also affected by the shuttering of the company.

Essential will no longer be providing updates for the Essential Phone, and while it will continue to work, there will be no future software refreshes or customer support available. Newton Mail will be available through April 30, 2020.

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The unreleased Essential Gem

Essential says that it offers its "deepest thanks" to the Essential and Newton Mail communities for their "support and passion for our vision."

When it launched, Essential secured over $330 million in funding and at one point, the company had a $1 billion valuation. Essential was impacted by poor sales of its phone and its inability to put out another product.

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Top Rated Comments

nutmac Avatar
58 months ago
The article forgot to mention that Andy Rubin is Harvey Weinstein of tech industry.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
58 months ago
Rebranded as Nonessential.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redman042 Avatar
58 months ago
The smartphone industry has matured to the point that disrupting it or even getting a meaningful slice of the pie is essentially impossible now. I don't care what innovations a startup thinks it can bring, that is until someone figures out how to have holograms project into the air above your device or something at that level.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
58 months ago
The Essential design is beautiful and slick. That's what the SE 2 needs to be like. Love those straight edges.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
58 months ago
Isn't Andy Rubin the no-talent hack that came up with Android by copying BlackBerry, and when the iPhone came out they scrapped the whole idea to make a bad copy of iOS? I remember there was some article describing the events around the original iPhone launch and why Steve Jobs was so livid at this guy
That’s Eric Schmidt.

Andy is the one with all the sex scandals.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nickdalzell1 Avatar
58 months ago

Mobile market is way too saturated. Should've pursued a different market.
Not really. We only got two companies even doing smartphones that succeed: Apple and Google . Android or iOS. I really miss the variety we had as far back as 2010--BlackBerry, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, WebOS.

I miss that. Competition is good. But some force deemed it bad so if it ain't Apple or Google-based, it's out. As a result most of the OSs UI and apps look the same. Zero differeniation anymore. White with black text. That's it. Kinda bland. The Modern Mobile Market is boring, sterile, lackluster.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)