Andy Rubin’s Essential Products Inc. is currently in dire straits. According to a report from Bloomberg, the firm, which had released the Essential Phone last year and had been working on a sequel has shelved all development of the sequel and is now considering selling itself off.
Rubin’s startup has hired Credit Suisse Group AG to advise on a potential sale and has actively courted interest from numerous company is. According to the report, discussions on the sale are focused on selling the whole firm as a whole including its patent portfolio, hardware and its engineering talent, including hires sourced from Apple and Google.
While the firm’s first smartphone was hotly anticipated, a series of lukewarm reviews, poor camera performance and lack of availability dogged its first smartphone through its lifetime. It was also initially priced like an iPhone, limiting its appeal at first until the firm gave it a $200 price cut. The firm eventually sold at least 150, 000 of the devices, a modest run by any estimation.
Building up new phone companies is a hard task. For a firm whose sole selling point was, Android except for stock, they quickly learned that that wasn’t nearly enough to keep them afloat.
We’ll likely learn more about the future of Essential in the weeks to come.