While the idea was to get that device out on store shelves as soon as possible (with Sprint being the exclusive wireless carrier partner), that didn’t actually happen. Following three months of delays, the device finally went up for order in August and, since then, it’s seen a variety of discounts from its standard $699.99 price tag.
By September, word on the street was that Essential had only sold 5,000 units of the Essential Phone.
Now IDC Research Director Francisco Jeronimo is confirming some numbers on his end, tweeting out that Essential shipped 88,000 units in 2017. Shipments, according to IDC’s data, started in July of last year (even though orders didn’t go live for customers until the middle of August). Jeronimo added in his tweet that the numbers show that the “Essential smartphone is still a long way from becoming a successful venture”.
For a startup, 88,000 units might not be a bad number. And technically speaking, Essential is a startup. However, the Essential Phone was designed to go up against other high-end, flagship devices out in the market. Essential wants to go up against Samsung and Apple, and while the Essential Phone is a top-tier handset with an eye-catching design, it looks like Essential wasn’t able to really grab a lot of attention last year.
Still, the company is already working on a successor, and it will be interesting to see where the Essential Phone 2 is positioned and what the price tag looks like for this year’s model.
Did you or anyone you know buy an Essential Phone?