KEY POINTS

  • Andy Rubin's Essential Smartphone Company has announced it is shutting down
  • Essential Phone PH-1 users will not receive support and new updates anymore
  • The Essential Gem is also cancelled and won't be launched anymore

Those using an Essential smartphone will be sad to know that Andy Rubin's smartphone company has announced that it is ceasing operations and is shutting down.

The Essential Smartphone Company, started by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, has announced that it it won't be releasing the Essential Gem device, will cease operations, and will shut down. The decision to shut the company down and halt the development of the Gem handset, per the announcement, is not specified. The company simply said that it doesn't know what to do with the Gem:

“Our vision [for the Gem] was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people’s lifestyle needs. Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers.”

“Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential,” the company stated.

Essential announced the Gem in October 2019, MacRumors noted. The cancelled device would've been the first smartphone of its kind to feature a very slim figure similar to TV remote controls. It features a glass unibody, a camera that's “small and easy to use,” and offers productivity and social features that will allow users to work and stay connected while on the go.

Despite its interesting form factor and looks, the Essential Gem will never make it into the hands of curious consumers.

What about the Essential Phone PH-1?

Those who bought the smartphone company's first handset, the Essential Phone PH-1, shouldn't expect to receive support anymore. Essential announced that the Feb. 3 security update for the PH-1 is the last update that users of the device will receive. The phone will still be usable, however, but Essential said it won't provide additional support or updates in the future.

Those who are using Newton Mail, a cross-platform email app created by CloudMagic, will be able to use the mailing service until April 3,2020. Essential added that it is making making a prebuilt of its vendor image and “everything else needed to keep hacking on the PH-1” available on its github so that developers who want to tinker with the PH-1 can continue doing so.

Essential said it is thankful to its employees, global partners, and the Essential and Newton Mail communities.

Essential Phone Essential has announced that it is shutting down. Photo: Essential