The Essential Phone 2, the sequel to the ambitious modular smartphone by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, has reportedly been canceled.
The Essential Phone's one-and-done smartphone fate isn't a big surprise today. The company is said to have sold just 150,000 phones to date. That's not nearly enough to stay afloat in the increasingly competitive smartphone landscape.
The start-up company, once valued at as much as $1 billion, is now reportedly on sale with its patents, hardware and upcoming smart home device up for grabs.
There are other options: Essential is said to have shifted resources to its still-in-development smart home product, on track to launch by 2019. Or it could live on as a brand, without a hand in the costly development process.
What went wrong with The Essential Phone?
The Essential Phone was a well-crafted all-screen smartphone, and the precursor to the notch phones that have exploded in popularity. It pre-dated the iPhone X notch.
However, the unique ceramic and titanium design and 360-degree camera mod couldn't save it from two major flaws. First, it had a poor camera, something the company admitted. The Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launched in its wake with the best camera phones.
Second, the price and availability were all wrong. Price drops shifted the Essential Phone PH-1 from a steep $699 (about £523, AU$923) to $399 (about £300, AU$530) in eight months.
It also lacked broad carrier support in the US, with only Sprint selling it initially, and only came to the UK last month. The Essential Phone became a hard sell when better phones from Google and Samsung were readily available.
- Review: LG G7 ThinQ, another hard sell
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.