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.

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.

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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

6 days ago at 10:50 am
The article forgot to mention that Andy Rubin is Harvey Weinstein of tech industry.
Rating: 29 Votes
6 days ago at 11:33 am
Rebranded as Nonessential.
Rating: 25 Votes
6 days ago at 11:41 am
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.
Rating: 9 Votes
6 days ago at 12:14 pm
The Essential design is beautiful and slick. That's what the SE 2 needs to be like. Love those straight edges.
Rating: 7 Votes
6 days ago at 02:21 pm

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.
Rating: 6 Votes
5 days ago at 05:28 pm


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.
Rating: 6 Votes
6 days ago at 11:43 am


Never heard of this phone before. I feel sorry for those people who purchased this phone, they are now essentially abandoned.

Not too many people for you to feel sorry for.

Which is why those people now feel sorry.
Rating: 5 Votes
6 days ago at 10:56 am
aka, both bank and brain dried up
Rating: 5 Votes
6 days ago at 02:13 pm
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
Rating: 4 Votes
6 days ago at 11:38 am


You know, I had well wishes for the dude when he was starting up with this Essential phone, but during the announcement or interviews near launch, he was with Walt Mossberg, and certain questions he responded to with some very unnecessary and odd criticisms of Apple. Wish I can recall what exactly it was, but in my books he lost a lot of credibility with how he was speaking at that time.

Not surprising anyway that Essential is done.


Well, there was also this stuff: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/andy-rubin-court-complaint-lawsuit-rie-divorce-google
Rating: 4 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]