A recent report from Baystreet Research has some extremely disappointing news for Andy Rubin and his company Essential. The much-hyped Essential PH-1 smartphone has only managed to sell an estimated 5,000 units since its launch in August 2017. This is an extremely measly number, especially considering the millions of units competitors like Apple and Samsung are able to sell during their flagship launch windows.
The Essential PH-1 phone launched amid a fair bit of hype in August of this year. Its unique design and construction, along with its promise to go back to the basics appealed to many people. People were also excited by the fact the mastermind behind this phone was none other than Andy Rubin, the founder of Android himself. These dismal sales numbers indicate that something has gone horribly wrong for Essential. So, what are reasons customers are ignoring Essential’s first ever smartphone offering?
These dismal sales figures, however, indicate that something has gone horribly wrong for Essential.
So, why have customers completely ignored Essential’s first ever smartphone offering? Let’s dig deep into that!
- Excessive Delays – The Essential PH-1 smartphone was initially teased in March 2017, and officially announced in May. However, by the time the phone actually started to ship, it was September. Due to such massive delays, customers lost interest. Meanwhile, competitors like Samsung, Apple and LG announced their own flagships, stealing attention from Essential.
- Pricing – The Essential phone was priced $699, which is in the range of a typical modern flagship. By pricing, the phone is so high, Essential invited competition from the Galaxy S8, S8+ and eventually the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X. As we have already seen over the past few years, it is extremely difficult to compete with these two titans of the industry.
- Marketing And Carrier Availability – The Essential phone’s marketing left a lot to be desired, as did their carrier availability. Essential partnered exclusively with Sprint in the US, which is one of the less popular networks in the region. This limited their prospective customer base even further.
- Not So Essential – For all their talk of focusing on the essentials, the Essential PH-1 lacks many standard flagship features. These include a headphone jack, water resistance, and an OLED display. Also, even though the phone featured a dual camera system, it was widely reviewed as performing very poorly.
- Modularity Seems Like A Gimmick – One of the headlining features of the Essential phone was its support for modular accessories like a 360-degree camera. However, we haven’t seen any other notable accessories for it yet, relegating it to gimmick status.
These are still early days for PH-1 and Essential, which is already valued at $1.2 billion as a company. Subsequent launches in Europe and other countries may help sales significantly. However, as it stands, the Essential PH-1 is one of the most high-profile flops of the smartphone industry this year.