Essential calls time on smartphone business

Credit: Essential

Andy Rubin's startup is officially winding down.

Essential, founded by the co-creator of Android (who I'm obliged to mention, has been accused of sexual misconduct), has announced it will be ceasing operations. Essential launched their first and only product in 2017 and while the device did find an audience, it failed to carve out any significant marketshare against giants like Samsung and LG.

The move also comes several months after Rubin teased a radical new phone design on Twitter.

In their blog post announcing the company's closure, Essential divulged more information about this unique, rectangular, device but admitted they "have no clear path to deliver it to customers."

As for existing customers, Essential say that the most-recent security update for PH-1 (released on February 3) will be "the last update from the Essential software team."

"Your PH-1 will continue to work but we will not be providing any additional updates or customer support."

In lieu of software updates, Essential say they'll be uploading and hosting a prebuilt of "our vendor image and everything else needed to keep hacking on PH-1" over on github.

Meanwhile, users of Essential's Newton Mail client will have access to the service through April 30, 2020.

For more info, check out the full blog post here.

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Fergus Halliday
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