Sprint to Sell Rubin's Essential Phone As an Exclusive
Essential Products has found a U.S. carrier to distribute its Essential PH-1 handset, and that carrier is Sprint. Essential still plans to offer the unlocked phone directly to consumers online, but the handset will also enjoy retail presence in Sprint stores, according to USAToday. "We like to bet with where we think the market is going as opposed to where the market was,” said Essential President Niccolo de Masi to USA Today. "I feel like we are a new brand and a new consumer electronics company and we are partnering with the network of the future." This isn't the only reason. Sprint is majority owned by SoftBank, and Andy Rubin, Essential's CEO, has a long history with Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's CEO. As recently as early this year, SoftBank was expected to make a $100 million investment in Essential, though it backed out for unknown reasons. "It's certainly conscious for us to work with partners that can make an investment in supporting our brand ambitions," continued to de Masi, "and it's an approach that obviously Andy Rubin has been very successful with in the past as well as a lot of our management team." The PH-1 has a unique, magnet-based system for accepting modular attachments, such as a 360-degree camera, on the back panel. It includes a 5.7-inch quad HD screen with curved corners, Snapdragon 835 processor, and dual rear cameras. It will run a near-stock version of Android 7 Nougat and ship completely devoid of brand names or logos. The PH-1 is expected to go on sale later this summer for $699.
Andy Rubin's Essential PH-1 Boasts Titanium Frame, Magnetic Mods
Essential Products, the startup being run by Andy Rubin, who helped create the Android operating system, announced its first smartphone today, the PH-1. The PH-1 is a high-end handset crafted from a titanium shell that Rubin claims is more robust than aluminum and more resistant to damage when dropped.
Essential Phone Lands at Sprint Tomorrow
Sprint today announced that the Essential Phone will go on sale through all Sprint channels — including stores — on September 14th. The high-end, bezel-free phone is already available unlocked.
Essential Drops Price of PH-1 from $699 to $499
Essential Products today dropped the price of its PH-1 smartphone by $200. In order to score the new price, consumers will need to order the phone from Essential.com.
Essential Phone Now Compatible with Verizon's Network
Essential Products says its smartphone, the PH-1, is now fully able to run on Verizon Wireless's network. The company announced the news via its Twitter account.
Essential CEO Andy Rubin Takes Leave of Absence
Andy Rubin is taking some time away from Essential Products, where he is CEO. The company's day-to-day operations will be handled by president Niccolo de Masi during Rubin's absence.