A new report out of the Financial Times claims Essential, the newly-founded company owned by previous Android founder Andy Rubin, is working to get their first phone in more countries other than the US. Although the company missed their US launch time frame Rubin “promised” was June, he and the rest of Essential are reportedly in talks with various UK carriers, such as EE, and others across Europe and Japan to confirm a launch date for their handset in their respective locations.
In the report, Niccolo de Masi, Essentials’ COO, notes that a launch of the Essential Phone in the US is “imminent,” but doesn’t specify when we can actually see the phone being sent out to customers. This brings forward the question as to when the Essential Phone will actually launch in other countries. This is a big ambition for such a small company that literally has never had a product on the market before. You can’t help but speculate exactly how Rubin and his team will navigate this effort, and whether they do it fairly or poorly.
One thing is for certain: Essential needs to get this phone in the hands of US customers before they even think about launching it in other countries. Because not only do they need to ship the Essential Phone itself, they also have to ship their 360-degree camera mod and other accessories and test the waters to see how the market responds. They may’ve said the launch was “imminent” for the US, but they also said it was set for June.
Right now, there’s too much speculation to determine exactly where Essential’s plans sit. To me, it seems that Essential is going at this thing a bit too aggressively, so aggressively that they may screw something up down the line by not fulfilling promises. But hey, I’m just a reporter. What do I know about launching a smartphone anyway?