Back in May, we reported that Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, could be shutting the doors on his start-up Essential Products Inc. after just one year of activity. Now, we’re as close as possible to the confirmation of that sad news. Rubin had announced the cancellation of the Essential Phone 2, after failing to ship more than 150,000 devices for the original model.
All hope was not lost though, as Rubin kept insisting that Essential was working on multiple devices. He said that, even though the Essential Phone 2 would not see the light of day anytime soon, the company was just fine.
Now, Bloomberg reports that Essential Products Inc. just laid off 30% of its workforce, giving up staff “in the company’s hardware, marketing, and sales divisions.” As Bloomberg points out, we’re not looking at a huge startup but at one with 120 employees, so a reduction of this size seriously spells trouble.
“This has been a difficult decision to make. We are very sorry for the impact on our colleagues who are leaving the company and are doing everything we can to help them with their future careers,” said an Essential representative in an email sent to Bloomberg. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product.”
Not to be grim but that’s kind of the same message from back in May and looked how that turned out. As things stand, it would seem Andy Rubin’s Essential needs a miracle or at least a hefty investment. After all, even though it sold poorly, the Essential Phone was a gorgeous device with a lot of promise.