Essential was supposed to disrupt the smartphone industry. And when it was done with that, it was coming for the smart home. The company came out of stealth with a $330 million funding round and grandiose plans for a new brand of handset, led by none other than Android head, Andy Rubin.
But bad timing, broader industry issues and a founder embroiled in some pretty troubling allegations of sexual misconduct contributed to a company that has struggled to make it far beyond the launch of its first handset. In a blog post today, Essential announced that it would be ceasing operations and shutting down.
The post is a strange mix of existential dread and hopefulness, unveiling a final device it was never able to launch