More bad news for Essential: The struggling smartphone maker has laid off about 30 percent of its workforce.
“This has been a difficult decision to make,” an Essential statement reads. “We are very sorry for the impact on our colleagues who are leaving the company and are doing everything we can to help them with their future careers. We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product.”
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That “sharpened product focus” bit is interesting.
When Andy Rubin’s latest venture launched its first handset, the Essential PH-1, in early 2017, it was described as the first of a suite of hardware devices that would include a smart home hub and various peripherals. But the PH-1 remains Essential’s only major release, and the firm canceled plans for a follow-up after it failed in the market, leading to questions about its future.
Recently, Essential said that it was working on a new kind of device that will come with a small screen and use voice commands as the main interaction point.
At this point, I can’t imagine Essential will ever release anything—sorry—that is particularly essential. And these new layoffs, which first reported by Bloomberg, cast further doubt on Essential’s chances for survival. According to the publication, Essential “burned through” $100 million just developing the PH-1. And the job cuts come from across the company, and impact its hardware, marketing, and sales staff.
<p>This is what happens when you invest in "celebrity" technologists. Their "act II" almost always crashes and burns. They fail to recognize the role good fortune played in their initial success.</p>
<p>It is hard to sell unlocked phones in the US and make a profit. Most consumers buy their phones from the carriers. I wonder if unlocked phone seller OnePlus has ever made a profit.</p><p>Because of poor sales, the PH-1 is currently an excellent value at $399 new or $300 used.</p>
<p>Like I said in a previous post some time ago……I am not surprised. It's not that the smartphone is bad, but it has zero brand name recognition. Right now, when it comes to smartphones there are only two brands people recognize: Samsung and Apple. </p><p><br></p><p>Regular people don't recognize or know the brand or the company, Essential. To them, the brand Essential is in the same class as Insigna, Dynex, or Rocketfish. Even though, the average tech enthusiast would know better, the average person in the world doesn't. The fault for that lies with whoever is running the company.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#354506">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>I agree that it Essential doesn't have name recognition, but I disagree that Samsung and Apple are the only brands people recognize. For example, Huawei is selling more smartphones than Apple. </p>