Second generation Essential Phone canceled as company is put up for sale

Essential Phone

Essential is now actively shopping itself to potential suitors, one of the people said.

It would also include an upcoming smart home product, the camera attachment for the Essential Phone, and even the original smartphone.

Not long after the latest report, Andy Rubin seems to have confirmed that the Essential Phone 2 indeed has been shelved.

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For those hoping to see a second Essential Phone, that plan has been canceled. The company was started with $30 million from Playground Global and received another $300 million in a round of funding participated by several investors including Amazon Alexa Fund, Tencent Holdings and Redpoint Ventures. The engineering team, which includes hires from Apple and Google would likely be a part of the sale as well, however the company has not yet made any final decision yet.

The Essential Phone, or the PH-1, was a phone built with premium materials that focused on a minimalist and attractive design, and was in many respects ahead of its time, compensating for the bezel-less screen with a distinctive early example of the display notch. Essential eventually cut the price of its phone to $399 in time for Cyber Monday last November, but that appeared to not be enough to stoke sales.

Essential debuted its first smartphone in August a year ago after several delays. In particular, the departure from the company has already announced Vice President of Essential marketing Brian Wallace and Joe Tate, who was responsible for the development of the hardware.

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There are other options: Essential is said to have shifted resources to its still-in-development smart home product, on track to launch by 2019.

In addition to its price, the smartphone was plagued with software problems which took some time to address and that is not going to make customers an avid fan of the product. The company has sold at least 150,000 to date, according to the person familiar with the company.

Update #2: The Informationhas obtained an internal email that was sent out following the report from Bloomberg.

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Wrong, as Bloomberg notes today, the company is putting itself up for sale and it has spent more than $100 million on product development.

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