Essential Phone PH-2 cancelled, Rubin looks to sell firm
A report from Bloomberg says that Essential has cancelled the development of the sequel to the Essential Phone PH-1. Further, the company’s founder Andy Rubin is said to be actively shopping the business around to potential buyers. The news comes on the back of meagre sales of its first smartphone, which has failed to gain traction and brand awareness with the wider smartphone market.
Andy Rubin responded to the Bloomberg story with this statement via Twitter:
We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace canceling some in favor of the ones we think will be bigger hits. We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products.
According to Bloomberg, the team that had been working on the PH-2 has been moved to another smart home product, which is what Rubin appears to allude to in his tweet. Of the $300 million in capital Essential has been able to raise to date from financiers including Amazon and Foxconn, Essential is said to have burned through around a $100 million in developing its first products, including the PH-1
Any potential sale of Essential would include its product portfolio, patents and employees, which includes engineers originally from both Google and Apple. Another option Essential is also said to be mulling is farming out the development of its smartphones to a third-party, saving costs, while still delivering new Essential-branded phones.