Essential Products, the smartphone startup founded by Android creator Andy Rubin, is now dead. The one-hit-wonder company that was started in 2015 is now shutting down leaving behind its one and only release, Essential Phone, out in the dust without any support.
As Essential "made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown", the 2017's Essential Phone will stop receiving updates from now on and there will be no fix for the bugs or the security scares.
"As part of the company wind down, the security update for PH-1 released on February 3 is the last update from the Essential software team. Your PH-1 will continue to work but we will not be providing any additional updates or customer support," the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
With the company shutting down, there is also no future of its Project GEM phone- a mobile phone with a long elongated body and a miniature screen. "We've now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers," Essential said.
Andy Rubin founded Essential after he left Google in 2014 on the charges of sexual misconduct by an employee. Essential Products Inc. came into existence on November 9, 2015, and it launched its first phone -- Essential PH-1 -- in May 2017. The company raised more than $300 million from firms including Redpoint Ventures, Altimeter Capital, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Foxconn Technology Group alongside Rubin's own startup incubator Playground Global.
Essential Products was one of the first companies to use a full-screen design for smartphones-- a trend that technology giants like Apple and Samsung followed. The design of the Essential PH-1 was ahead of its time and it is relevant even now with its dot-notch display and simplistic design.
However, while the fans of Essential PH-1 have been asking Rubin about a successor, the phone did not sell well early on. The company had to cut jobs and put itself up for sale. Recently it came out with its project GEM phone with a remote control style design but with the company shutting down, it looks like we won't be seeing at that unique form factor.