Yes, another one bites the dust. Do not weep for Andy Rubin. He gave it a shot. He failed. But he’s rich so no tears should be shed. Besides, he’s responsible for the Android scourge running roughshod over humanity.
It all started at Apple where Rubin worked as an engineer; nicknamed android because of his love for robots. He started Danger Inc. and sold it to Microsoft. He founded Android and sold it to Google. He founded Essential, the so-called iPhone killer, and he’s putting up a for sale sign.
Rubin’s Essential phone was considered best-of-breed. Until customers started using it.
The Essential Phone got off to a rough start with a price tag equal to flagships but without the polished user experience to come with it. Camera problems and software bugs that needed addressing explain many of the poor sales figures.
And now a for sale sign. What happened?
Essential has sold approximately 150,000 units of its first generation phone. Although the sales are a drop in the bucket compared to Samsung, Apple and Google, the minimalist design philosophy of Essential has not been complete ignored.
Maybe not completely, but mostly. I see way too many similarities here between Windows and Mac, Android OS and iPhone. The world can only handle so many platforms.
We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace canceling some in favor of the ones we think will be bigger hits.
Translation: “Make us an offer.”
The Essential Phone launched with a promise to change how successful technology companies are built. It came with titanium and ceramic instead of aluminum and glass, and it used a phrase I like– computational photography— to explain advances in smartphone camera technology.
Despite its good looks, Essential Phone was a mound of marketing fluff that hoodwinked impressionable buyers into paying too much for a phone that wasn’t just overpriced, it should never have been released.
In essence, it’s goodbye, Essential, we hardly knew ye. Another iPhone competitor bites the dust. But what about the hundreds of Android smartphone competitors still on the market?
The Android community could stand to have a lot fewer phones for sale. Even if you take away the sea of budget phones running on less RAM than a Wear OS watch, the number of high-end and premium phones being sold is staggering.
Guesstimators tell us that Apple’s iPhone accounts for about 85-percent of the entire smartphone industry’s profits, while Samsung comes in a distant second with the majority of the remains.
How do the rest of those smartphone makers stay in business? There are hundreds of them with many hundreds of models, yet most of the revenue and profits go to Apple and Samsung. Mac360’s Kate MacKenzie summed up the situation in two insightful missives, 1) A Simple Way To Beat Apple’s Best, and, 2) Apple To Google: ‘Hardware Is Hard.‘