Andy Rubin, the co-creator of the Android had established the Essential startup. The company launched a single handset: the Essential Phone in 2017. But now, the company is stopping all software updates. Even though the smartphone didn’t catch on like its counterparts, monthly patches and Android updates kept coming.
Now, the software updates and other security patches for the Essential Phone will no longer appear. The company is also pulling the plug on customer support, effective immediately. In a blog post, Essential notes that it has already rolled out the February security patch, but this would be the last update from the company’s end.
“Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential,” the blog post reads.
Looking back, there was a lot of hype around the Essential Phone, mainly for its unique titanium and ceramic chassis. Andy Rubin’s earlier tarnished record in Google added to the hype for the new phone. Back then, the smartphone rolled out in the US in 2017 and was shipped a year later as a Sprint exclusive (yet, it came out as an unlocked device). More importantly, the Essential Phone featured a unique modular system that allowed other accessories like a 360-degree camera to be magnetically attached at the back.
However, the Essential’s modular plan died down slowly, but the company continued sending out software tweaks and security patches. Back in 2017, the phone became one of the first few to present a nearly bezel-less display and ran the near-stock Android version. The phone was also known to release major new Android updates faster than other phone makers (apart from Google). Yet, the phone hardly made a sales impact and has died down today.