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Andy Rubin's Essential Phone hits delays, trouble

The Essential Phone was pre-orderable for US$699 in May and should have shipped in June. (Source: Essential)
The Essential Phone was pre-orderable for US$699 in May and should have shipped in June. (Source: Essential)
Android brainchild Andy Rubin's Essential Phone should have shipped in June, but that date is over 10 days past. In the midst of the delay, CNBC's Todd Haselton has reported that Essential's head of PR has apparently left the company.

Andy Rubin was formerly best known as the brains behind the Android open-source operating system, so when he announced he was working on a phone that would meet his vision for the full potential of Android, people listened. Revealed officially on May 31, Rubin's Essential Phone is a ceramic and titanium-constructed beauty of a phone with one of the highest (if not highest) screen-to-body ratios around. Rubin promised that the phone would be shipping within 30 days "tops", meaning that phones should have gone out by the end of June at latest. As PocketNow points out, it is well and truly past the due date for shipment, but no Essential Phone has made it into consumer hands.

Pre-orders are now overdue by 10 days without a peep from the company. What could be the hold-up? The Essential Phone is pretty standard in terms of specifications for a flagship phone: Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 128GB Storage — but where it breaks tradition is mostly its physical construction. The super-thin screen bezels with a camera embedded in the middle of the display might be causing problems, or it could be problems with the titanium in the manufacturing process. To be clear, there has been neither rumor nor formal word from the company, but it's clear something hasn't gone to plan. And in the midst of all this, Essential's head of PR has apparently left, too. Not a great start for the launch of one of the most promising flagship phones of the year.

But, on the bright side, nobody who has pre-ordered has been charged yet (though that could also mean the Essential Phone is even further off than we think).


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Douglas Black, 2017-07-10 (Update: 2017-07-10)