ANDY RUBIN'S Essential phone company, mooted as the next great hope for Android has been put up for sale.
The company was preparing to announce an Essential 2 device, but that has now been scrapped. The original Essential device which runs damn near Vanilla Android was launched last year (slightly later than advertised) to mixed, though largely favourable reviews, but with no killer feature to lure people away from the big boys.
There were also issues with the camera, touchscreen and even making calls, though these weren't universal.
Rubin, the original creator of the Android operating system has brought in Credit Suisse Group AG to help facilitate a sale, and according to Bloomberg there's already at least one interested party.
The company which has received funding from big players including Foxconn Amazon, Tencent and Redpoint was recently valued at up to $1bn.
Foxconn also produced the phone whilst US network Sprint did a whole chunk of the marketing.
The sale is understood to include patents, products including a camera attachment for the Essential Phone and an unnamed smart home device that is currently in development and probably the boffins that Rubin had swiped away from Google and Apple.
Rubin, who self-suspended from his company for a period last year over allegations of misconduct, wrote on Twitter:
"We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace cancelling some in favour of the ones we think will be bigger hits,"
"We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products."
It's thought that despite all the hype, Rubin only sold 20,000 of the original Essential phone, which at $699 had priced itself out of a market which it had no reputation in. A price drop to $499 near doubled sales, but in a market where millions of units represents success, it was a drop in the ocean and something had to give.
Essential never made it to the UK, despite rumours and a show of demand. µ
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