Andy Rubin tried to start a new phone company back in 2017 that promised new devices, new smart home appliances, new operating systems, and more. After launching the Essential Phone and being met with disappointing sales, however, things remained unclear as to where the company would go. Late last year, Rubin confirmed Essential was working on a new smartphone-esque project called Project GEM, but as it turns out, not even that is enough to keep the company afloat.
That’s why today, Essential has announced it’s shutting down for good.
The company confirmed the news in a blog post where it showed glimpses at what GEM could’ve been. What stood out to me, though, was the fact that the relatively popular email app, Newton Mail, will also be taken to grave. Granted, it won’t shut down completely until April 30th, but I’m still upset. I love that app. Maybe a third-party will swoop in and save it.
Meanwhile, if you own an Essential Phone, you won’t be getting any more updates past the February security patch. And in case you were hoping Essential would eventually ship a smart home OS, you’re out of luck because all future endeavors under Essential are cancelled as well.
While it’s a shame to see Essential shut down (especially since a sequel to the PH-1 could’ve been cool), you can’t help but think this was inevitable if only because of the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Andy Rubin. Something like this was bound to happen, but it’s a shame to see it happen anyway.