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.
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.
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.