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Essential Phone sells just 88,000 units in its first 6 months on the market

Sales of Andy Rubin's Essential Phone PH-1 have been underwhelming. (Source: Essential)
Sales of Andy Rubin's Essential Phone PH-1 have been underwhelming. (Source: Essential)
Andy Rubin's Essential is getting a tough dose of the reality of selling high-end smartphones in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple. New figures from IDC show that the startup has sold fewer than 90,000 handsets since it launched six months ago.

Andy Rubin’s Essential has sold just 88,000 units of its Essential Phone PH-1 in 2017, according to the latest figures from market analyst IDC. Although only on the market for six months, that is a paltry sales figure for a device from any maker, let alone one that has been founded by the "Father of Android", Andy Rubin. If anything, it highlights just how tough it is for any company to compete against Samsung for the market in high-end handsets.

Even with deep price cuts, the Essential Phone hasn’t been able to gain market traction. Reviewers have almost universally praised the device for its high-end build quality and materials that include the use of titanium, ceramic, and Gorilla Glass 5, but have criticized its camera, in particular, which may have helped to dissuade potential customers. It was also hampered by repeated delays ahead of its launch, as well as by software that has been unexpectedly buggy for a device running stock Android.

Still available from Essential for US$499 (US$200 below its launch price), the device is now priced more in line with mid-range devices from makers like Samsung. It features a Snapdragon 835 with 4 GB RAM, a QHD 2560 x 1312 pixel LTPS IPS LCD display with unique camera notch. The camera looks good on paper with a 13MP dual RGB + Mono camera, but is still yet to match the competition for photo quality despite several updates since launch.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 02 > Essential Phone sells just 88,000 units in its first 6 months on the market
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-02-13 (Update: 2018-02-13)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.