Essential, the phone company started by Andy Rubin, is shutting down

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It is not easy to start a smartphone company, let alone keep it going at a successful rate. Even once dominate names in the industry like LG, Sony and BlackBerry have seen their influence wane, and now we another firm has had to shutter its doors in Essential.

The startup smartphone company founded Andy Rubin, who once headed up Android along with having sexual harassment claims brought against him while at the same company, has had to bring the firm to an end.

“Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people’s lifestyle needs. Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential,” the company explained in a statement.

“We are incredibly grateful to our employees in Palo Alto and Bangalore as well as our global partners for their help and dedication bringing this concept to life,” the statement adds.

To some the news does not come as a surprise as the firm’s first device, the PH-1, was initially well received, but failed to win over as many customers as Essential may have hoped, especially as it was plagued with software issues along with a substantial price tag.

That said Essential was working on turning the corner, an in October of 2019 showcased what it believed to be a game changing smartphone called Project GEM at the time.

It looks like Project GEM has not been the saving grace that Essential was hoping it would be, but it would not surprise us if a version of the smartphone crops up in a spin-off venture from Rubin.

Currently though, it remains to be seen what Rubin’s next venture will be.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.