Phone maker Essential to shut down
MANILA, Philippines – In another blow to the smartphone world this week, Essential Products, the phone company of Android co-founder Andy Rubin, announced that it will cease operations.
In a blog post on Wednesday, February 12, the Essential team announced "the difficult decision," saying that despite its best efforts, "we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers."
The Essential team teased Project Gem back in October 2019, and it was a follow-up of sorts to the Essential PH-1. It added that the Essential Phone's last update would be the one released February 3, with no future updates or customer support available.
Not without controversy
Former Google executive Andy Rubin founded Essential to much fanfare in the industry, but struggled to gain traction in a crowded market, especially after its 2017 launch of a handset that did not catch on.
The company also was forced to face controversy over Rubin's departure from Google, after he reportedly received an exit package worth $90 million as he faced allegations of sexual misconduct. Rubin consistently denied the allegations.
NewtonMail also affected
Aside from Essential, the company's NewtonMail team will also be affected, with current Newton Mail users maintaining access to the service only up through April 30.
Meanwhile, developers can "keep hacking on PH-1" using the Essential-connected github.
The news follows the cancellation of the 2020 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. – with reports from the Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com