Essential Buys Newton Mail Maker CloudMagic

Posted on December 7, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Hardware, Mobile with 5 Comments

Hands-On with Newton for Windows 10

Struggling smartphone maker Essential has purchased the company that makes the recently-canceled Newton Mail app, suggesting that it is moving to a more software- and services-based strategy.

“We are always on the lookout for companies with great technology and talent to help accelerate our product roadmap,” an Essential statement notes, confirming the purchase.

Essential, as you may know, started with a bang in mid-2017 because it was founded by Android creator Andy Rubin. But its first hardware product, a smartphone, sold poorly and was one of that year’s most high-profile failures.

Since then, Essential canceled plans for a second-generation smartphone and has suffered from layoffs as well as various vague strategy changes.

CloudMagic, meanwhile, made an email application called Newton and had apparently attracted about 40,000 paying customers. But the firm called it quits in August, leaving Newton enthusiasts—like Brad—in the lurch.

This acquisition has some hoping that Newton Mail might be making a comeback, though CloudMagic was allegedly working on other “new and innovative projects” that might have attracted Essential’s attention instead. Either way, I’m curious what this says about Essential and its product roadmap. Is the firm following in the footsteps of, say, Next, and dropping hardware for a software-based future?


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