Andy Rubin is known to most of the world as the founder of Android, which has acquired Google and has become the most popular computer platform in the world. After leaving Google, Rubin founded Essential to make Android phones and smart home devices. However, the Essential Phone did not make a big impression and rumors are coming that Essential could already have a foot in the grave. Essential has just confirmed that nearly a third of its existing employees have been fired.
Essential launched its first mobile phone over a year ago with a hefty $ 700 prize. The Essential Phone was one of the first phones with a display notch on top, a feature released just a few weeks later by the iPhone X. It also included a modular accessory port, but Essential has just released a single add-on: the 360-degree 4K camera. Essential has promised more accessories, such as a dock and headphone jack adapter, but none has materialized.
Lack of accessories would worry enough, but reports earlier this year claimed that Essential had scrapped its second phone and Rubin was considering selling the company. Without a new phone in the works, employees probably do not have much to do. The new round of redundancies might therefore come as no surprise in this context.
The Essential website currently employs about 120 people, so a 30 percent cut means 36 fewer employees with around 84 remaining employees. Most of the reported cuts were from hardware, marketing and distribution. That still leaves engineers behind to update the Essential Phone, which was among the first devices in the world, to update to Android 9 Pie earlier this year. Although Essential may not have the staff to build a fully voice-controlled phone, as rumored a few weeks ago.
The Essential Phone was a competitive device when it was launched last year with flagship-level specifications and a slender titanium / ceramic chassis. However, the $ 700 price was too high for a newcomer who was still struggling with software flaws and poor camera performance. The Essential Phone is still on sale for $ 499 with a free 360-cam and USB Type-C earphone. The latest version of Android is up and running, but support could end abruptly when Essential shuts down.
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