Android founder's next phone company goes bust

Android founder's next phone company goes bust

The company is known for the Essential PH-1 which was the first phone we saw with a notch and had pretty high end specs.

Having co-founded Android 2003 and leading the charge on the mobile operating system for almost a decade after Google bought the company for at least $50 million, Andy Rubin had a great deal of momentum when he left to chart his own course.

According to the blog post, though, Project Gem won't see the light of day now that the company is closing up shop for good. In today's blog post, Essential said it had spent the past few years quietly developing the product that it hoped would "more seamlessly" integrate with people's lives than traditional smartphones.

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.

But in its press release today, Essential noted that the startup has "no clear path to deliver [the Gem] to customers".

"Given this, we have made the hard decision to cease operations and shut down Essential", the company said on their blog.

Since Essential is shutting down, the security update for PH-1 which was released on February 3 is the last update.

This brings a sad ending to a company that had a great flawed phone and even a more problematic founder who left Google due to accusations of sexual misconduct. It had a "radically different" form factor: a thin, long design half the width of phablets with the length of an average phone - but given its narrow profile, made it look like at TV remote.

However, the company has shared its software on coding site Github so developers can "keep hacking" the device.

As an added bonus, the premium Newton Mail service, which Essential acquired in 2018, is shutting down as well. Essential a year ago acquired the CloudMagic team and its cross-platform Newton Mail app, which is also affected by the shuttering of the company.

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