IF YOU'RE LOST at sea and drowning, do you care who rescues you? In theory, no, but if you then glance up and see the word "Titanic" on the bow of the rescue vessel, you may find a couple of doubts creeping in.
In a wholly unrelated story, it appears Essential - Android creator Andy Rubin's phone company - has bought CloudMagic, the company behind email app Newton. Yes, the same Newton that was shut down in September, despite having 40,000 paying subscribers. It turns out you just can't compete with free - especially when the free is provided by the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple.
It's a strange acquisition and there certainly aren't any clues in the official Essential statement on the matter, as quoted by TechCrunch, which feels like it could have been generated by a business AI trained on millions of forgettable press releases.
"We are always on the lookout for companies with great technology and talent to help accelerate our product roadmap," the company said.
The Essential Phone has proved to be anything but essential during its first 18 months gathering dust on shelves and it has struggled to get a foot in a hugely crowded Android smartphone space. In October, the company laid off around a third of its staff and reportedly doesn't have plans for an Essential Phone 2, instead favouring an AI-based handset that can automatically respond to messages on your behalf, which definitely doesn't sound like a recipe for disaster.
If you squint a bit, you can kind of see how Newton would fit into those plans, borrowing the app's features to make AI-powered replies more functional, but it feels like a bit of a longshot to us. Bluntly, people buy phones because of things like speed, battery life, camera and style. They don't buy them because of the built-in email client. µ
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