Essential, a brand new company started by the Android co-founder Andy Rubin, launched its first smartphone last year with plenty of fanfare. And expectations were high for what would be that device’s successor, believed to arrive sometime this year.
Now it turns out that we might not get an Essential Phone 2 after all. At least, that’s what Bloomberg has heard recently. According to the publication, Rubin has scrapped plans for an Essential Phone successor and has put Essential up for sale.
People familiar with the matter state that Rubin is using the resources of Credit Suisse Group AG to facilitate the sale and that Rubin has already heard from at least one potential buyer. The sale, if it does go through, would include the entire Essential company and their patent portfolio.
It would also include an upcoming smart home product, the camera attachment for the Essential Phone, and even the original smartphone. The engineering teams at Essential who helped create the first smartphone would also be part of the deal.
There might be some silver lining, however, as the report indicates that Essential may try to stick around in the smartphone business and has “explored hiring a manufacturer other than Foxconn”. This would take Essential itself out of the development process, but it would still make it possible for an Essential-branded smartphone to be available to buy.
Update: Andy Rubin has taken to Twitter to give a response to the latest rumor. He doesn’t actually say that he’s putting the Essential company up for sale, or that he isn’t for that matter. He does say that Essential is still working on products, though, and will prioritize devices they believe will have the biggest impact. Here’s the tweet:
We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace canceling some in favor of the ones we think will be bigger hits. We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products.
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) May 24, 2018
So, what do you make of all this?