Andy Rubin’s Essential is now a unicorn valued at $1.2B, despite flagship PH-1 smartphone well overdue
Andy Rubin’s Essential has crested the magic $1 billion threshold in terms of its market capitalization, officially making the company an industry unicorn. The feat is all the more remarkable given the extended delays in getting its halo product the Essential Phone PH-1 into customers’ hands. Announced on May 30, and up for pre-order not long after, the device was originally promised to be delivered to customers by the end of June. Coupled with this, Essential has lost at least two high-profile employees, with head of UX leaving for Google and the head of PR also exiting the company.
The Essential Phone is also entering a saturated smartphone market with only Apple and Samsung making notable profits from the segment. Very few other players in the market have been able to enjoy both high volumes of sales and the kinds of profit margins that Apple and Samsung are able to extract from their products because of their brand appeal, if not feature set. That being said, having the name “Andy Rubin” attached to your shiny new high-end device certainly gives it an element of differentiation from the competition. While the Essential Phone itself doesn’t stand out from the crowd in terms of its standard high-end Android specifications (Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage), its combination of almost top-to-bottom display with ceramics and metals is also undeniably beautiful.
While Essential may now be valued at $1.2 billion, it is still around $799 billion behind Apple, which has grown to become not only the largest company in tech, but also the largest and most profitable company on the planet. As for the Essential PH-1, it surely cannot be too much further away. Keep an eye out for our review, when it does eventually see the light of day.