Farewell then, to the Essential Phone, a bold and occasionally brilliant attempt to disrupt a phone market dominated by a handful of key players. The phone is now out of stock and the company has confirmed it won’t be making any more of the handsets.
Rumors that Essential and its portfolio of products are up for sale have been floating around all year, but in a statement given to 9to5Google, a company spokesperson said the focus was now on the “next mobile product” – whatever that might be. Is the Essential Phone 2 still on the cards after all? Or is a different type of gadget on the way?
Essential “will continue to sell accessories and provide speedy software updates and customer support to our existing community” the official statement says, so if you already own a PH-1 Essential Phone then you’re not going to be abandoned.
The future of Essential
Back in September, Essential confirmed that the company’s phone will be getting Android Q, the next major update for Google’s mobile OS that’s due to make its debut during 2019 – so there’s plenty of life left in the handsets that have already been sold.
If an Essential Phone 2 is indeed on the way, leaks suggest it’s going to have a particular focus on artificial intelligence: it’s going to be able to organize parts of your life for you, and handle some of your messages, apparently, so you can spend less time staring at your mobile phone and more time living in the real world again.
All of that is still to be confirmed but what we know for sure is that the first Essential Phone, the PH-1, is now officially discontinued. It brought some neat ideas with it, but the sequel is going to have to be even more impressive for Essential to survive.