Android co-creator Andy Rubin's Essential Phone has become unavailable and the company has said it won't replenish the stocks, thus, effectively discontinuing the smartphone. Originally introduced in 2017, the Essential Phone, also known as PH-1, has had a rocky start. Even after expanding into new markets, the phone's sales remained underwhelming and resulted in layoffs and rumours that the firm would be sold. It was among the first phones to sport a display notch, a feature that became ubiquitous this year in the smartphone industry.
In addition to confirming that it no longer plans to produce the Essential Phone, the company revealed that it is already working on its next mobile device. It is unclear if the device will be a smartphone or something else.
"We are sold out of Essential Phone on essential.com and won't be adding any new inventory. We are now hard at work on our next mobile product and will continue to sell accessories and provide speedy software updates and customer support to our existing community," 9to5Google quoted the company as saying late on Friday. The Essential Phone switched over to "Out of Stock" on the Essential Shop last week in all colour options.
It is now mostly gone at Amazon too, outside of some resellers trying to get rid of remaining devices, with no Prime shipping available, the Droid Life reported.
Owners of the Essential Phone would, however, continue receiving security and firmware updates in future. Earlier, reports suggested the device would be updated to at least Android Q Operating System (OS). Currently, it still holds the honour for being one of the fastest third-party Android device manufacturers to provide updates, with its Android 9.0 Pie update becoming available over the air (OTA) just hours after the Google Pixel.
According to an online report, the company sold just over 100,000 units of the Essential Phone in the first four months, compared to five million unit shipments of the Samsung Galaxy S8 in just the first few weeks of global availability. The Galaxy S8 was also released in 2017.
Written with inputs from IANS