Andy Rubin, the founder of the Android operating system, is rumored to be getting ready to shut down his company, Essential Products Inc., after just one year of activity. Reported by Bloomberg, the company has hired Credit Suisse Group AG “to advise on a potential sale and has received interest from at least one suitor.”
Bloomberg also explains that, even though the start-up received about $300 million from several investors and was valued at almost $1 billion in 2017, its Essential Phone launched last year struggled to sell even 150,000 devices.
The Essential Phone was a gorgeous, titanium and ceramic-bodied device with a 5.71-inch edge to edge display and the capability to pair via dongle with other devices like a 360-degree camera. However, after the launch, reviews were mostly negative due to the weak camera and call issues, so with a $699 price tag, only 20,000 devices were sold. Essential Products Inc. then lowered the price to $499 to reach the aforementioned 150,000 sold devices figure but apparently it still wasn’t enough.
Rubin insists that the company is not in trouble even though it abandoned plans to launch an Essential Phone 2. However, a leaked email obtained by The Information indicates the opposite, stating that “no one (including me [Rubin] at this moment) knows what the best thing for the company will be.” Rubin took to Twitter to post the following reassurance:
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