Essential might be shutting down just as it approaches its one-year anniversary of debuting the PH-1.
Following what’s been a year of turmoil within the company, its leadership has reportedly considered a sale if the price is right. The possibility of Essential being sold appears strong as at least one potential suitor stepped forward to negotiate, according to Bloomberg. The potential suitor’s name is unknown, but the report says Credit Suisse is advising Essential on the matter.
Andy Rubin, who co-founded Android before creating Essential, never really saw his newest creation take off. The PH-1 was delayed numerous times before shipping with a half-baked experience.
Essential fixed many of the problems through software updates in late 2017 and throughout 2018, but by then it was too late.
The biggest problem for Essential and the PH-1 was that, aside from missing deadlines and releasing an underwhelming product, Rubin never seemed in touch with reality. His idea that Essential could bring together iOS and Android was ridiculous from the start.
As the company considers selling itself, Essential has canceled its second phone according to the report. The PH-2 is no longer in development and will never be released. Essential seems to be freezing operations until someone pulls the trigger on an acquisition.
Essential’s patents could be more valuable than anything else it has to offer. Of course, the company’s group of industry veterans is also up for grabs. Part of what made Essential so interesting out of the gate was its talent. Rubin was successful in poaching employees from companies like Apple, Google, and HTC. Some thought Essential could be the anti-establishment brand knowing their weaknesses.
The team still working out of the company’s office in Palo Alto had recently been shifted over to a home automation product. Like the PH-2, that product is now canceled.
Though it’s actively shopping itself around, Essential could decide against a sale. We’ll learn more about this in the coming weeks and months as Rubin weighs his options.