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Andy Rubin breaks silence on Essential’s future

by Justin Herrick | May 25, 2018

What’s next for Essential remains unknown as there’s a report out saying the company is exploring a sale with at least one potential suitor interested in acquiring its assets.

Essential could unload its entire portfolio of patents and workforce on someone else to create new mobile and connected devices. The potential suitor is unknown, but Essential is serious about the idea of selling itself as Credit Suisse is already shopping the company around. Maybe an acquisition will be announced this summer when most companies take a breather.

The PH-1, which was released last summer following several delays, was a complete disappointment. Essential shipped its first product with bugs making the long wait seem meaningless. Things quickly went south for Essential despite being filled with talent brought in from other companies.

Much of the blame falls on Andy Rubin, who believed his name and experience would trump all in the cutthroat mobile industry. Now the Android co-founder is breaking his silence on the matter as everyone waits to see if the company is sold, shuts down, and tries collecting new investments.

Here’s the statement posted on Twitter:

“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.”

Essential is working on “future, game-changing products” but specifics weren’t offered. The report laying out the company’s activities as of late revealed Rubin canceled the smart speaker/hub announced in 2017 as well as the PH-2. Rubin didn’t comment on a potential sale, but a leaked internal email shows what he’s thinking.

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The company won’t be shutting down, according to the email Rubin sent employees following the report from Bloomberg. He goes on to say speaking to the media won’t help Essential raise any additional money from outside investors.

Rubin even adds that he’s focused “on winning and not whining” as Essential crumbles around him. That part was dropped in the first person, backing up the belief that employee morale is low since Rubin only listens to himself. Essential’s team has always been in flux with high turnover weighing it down.

Essential was struggling with mass production from the start, and one employee told TechnoBuffalo how some of the PH-1’s colors would probably never be released. The company did eventually release them, but it took well over six months. Some of the newer colors also had a limited run as Essential didn’t want to be left with too much unsold inventory.

Another employee admitted frustration when the 360-degree camera attachment wouldn’t work after swapping phones and accessories multiple times.

Everything probably indicates an acquisition is likely. Essential doesn’t seem to have anything in development, and its assets are worth something. Then it’s up to the idealistic Andy Rubin to decide whether or not he should admit defeat.

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Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...


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