Essentially Gone: Not Even Andy Rubin Can Build an Android Company

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Brad Sams in Android, Mobile with 70 Comments

Several years ago, when Andy Rubin left Google to create Essential Products which later produced the Essential phone, there was a significant amount of hype surrounding this company. Afterall, Andy built Android, surely he could create a company around the OS and do magical things, right?

Wrong, as Bloomberg notes today, the company is putting itself up for sale and it has spent more than $100 million on product development. And if you were looking forward to the next gen Essential phone, it has been canceled.

The company will likely be sold in the near future but the likelihood of ever seeing another phone from this company is slim to none. I’d expect the Essential brand to get the Nokia treatment where another company buys the assets and then re-brands generic phones under this name.

But there is a bigger take here, the Android market is not open for business. Samsung and Google own the mobile OS and everyone else has quickly become a second-rate competitor. LG and HTC have struggled to find meaningful success against Samsung and One Plus has captured the lower-priced market.

Now I know that some will say that their LG/HTC/Other brand phone is excellent, and you are right, it likely is, but the truth here is that it is incredibly hard to achieve a high level of success in the mobile segment unless you are Apple, Google, or Samsung. Heck, even Amazon tried and failed here too.

Which leads me to the next point, Microsoft building an Android phone would not ‘save’ them either. It’s an incredibly tough market segment to break into and it’s a relatively mature market which is why we are frequently seeing a condensing of the competitive landscape.

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