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posted by martyb on Thursday February 13 2020, @11:19PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the now-they-will-sell-non-essentials? dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Andy Rubin's smartphone startup, Essential, is finally dead. Today, Essential announced in a blog post that it is closing its doors, saying that since it has "no clear path to deliver" its newest smartphone to customers, the company has "made the difficult decision to cease operations and shut down Essential."

Essential was Andy Rubin's next company after his previous gig at Google, where he lead the development of Android, taking the OS from nothing to the world's most popular operating system. Being "The Father of Android" meant venture capital firms would throw money at him when he left Google to form a new company. That company was Essential, where Andy Rubin jumped full time into smartphone hardware. The company was valued at $1.2 billion before it even sold a single product.

The company canceled a straightforward sequel to the Essential Phone in 2018. By 2019, it was teasing "Project Gem"—a super-skinny smartphone with the form factor of a TV remote, which seemed like it would lack compatibility with most smartphone apps on the market. With today's announcement, the Gem phone is dead, too.

In between canceling products, Essential was a non-stop catastrophe of bad PR. The Essential Phone was delayed from its original launch date, and when the time finally came to take payments and ship the phone, the company botched the launch. Essential sent out a bizarre payment-processing email to some customers asking then to send in their photo IDs over email, then it accidentally CC'd that personal information to several other customers who bought Essential Phones. The move was one of the worst first impressions of all time, and Rubin called the mistake "humiliating" in a blog post.

[...] Newton Mail, an email app Essential bought one year ago, will be shut down April 30. The Essential Phone's February security update is the last OS update the device will receive from Essential, though the company was nice enough to leave some code up on GitHub for the Android hacking community to produce further updates.

-- submitted from IRC


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:01AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:01AM (#957925)

    Software may be hard, but hardware is harder.
    (Quoting the owner/designer of a small bicycle manufacturing company.)

    Amirite that Andy Rubin, who was so good at software, failed to realize the complexities of making hardware?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by petecox on Friday February 14 2020, @12:31AM

      by petecox (3228) on Friday February 14 2020, @12:31AM (#957939)

      Entering a crowded market is difficult when you're basically just rebadging the same Qualcomm Snapdragon based platform that your competitors are using.

      They tried something radically different with GEM. It seems to have garnered little interest.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by SomeGuy on Friday February 14 2020, @12:03AM (3 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday February 14 2020, @12:03AM (#957926)

    So are we about done with smartphones? I remember back before the iPhone, people only grudgingly put up with cellphones with built in computers/PDAs, they were a business thing. Then Apple came along and suddenly they became a ladies fashion accessory.

    There is no place to go now. They are done.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday February 14 2020, @12:23AM (1 child)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday February 14 2020, @12:23AM (#957934) Homepage

      There is plenty more to do with smartphones -- 3D touch interfaces in air for example. If you had bothered to read a few articles, you'd see that Andy Rubin got himself into some #metoo trouble while at Google and was forced out as a result -- and he got a 90M golden parachute on his way out.

      He was a fucking dipshit who should have laid low for a few more years until all this #metoo shit blew over, then tried again when technology and R&D were more mature. I mean, Jesus fuck. He got 90M dollars in addition to whatever else he got working there, it's not like he had to start his own venture just to put food on the table. Or if he wanted it that badly then he could have used front people while hiding anonymously in the shadows.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Friday February 14 2020, @01:03AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @01:03AM (#957960)

        I don't think Andy Rubin put much of his own money into Essential. He managed to raise $350 million in "outside funding" which would be the venture capital crowd.

        Pissing the VC's money up against a wall is a good thing, because Essential will have used a lot of that money to pay people, meaning the money is now in the wider economy, where real people are making use of it.

        I hope the VC money all came from a bunch of idiot trust-fund babies who are now broke.

        Not likely, I know, but a man can dream can't he?

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by NotSanguine on Friday February 14 2020, @01:51AM

      I think that smartphones *could* be a good idea. But not as "smartphones." As portable application/data platforms.

      Back in the late '90s I was thinking that as computing power and storage capacity increased, in smaller and smaller packages, that we could have a hand-held device that *was* your computer, or at least your *secure* personal data storage.

      You'd just slip it in a (standardized) dock wherever you went and there were all your applications and your data, strongly encrypted of course. Cellular radios/networking weren't the important part

      What did we get instead? Bloatware, cloud (someone else's servers) storage, "apps" that are nothing more than proprietary interfaces to web pages, poor security and enhanced tracking/advertising/surveillance capitalism.

      I suppose that could still happen, but what we've gotten instead has created attitudes (and rightly so) about pocket/hand-sized devices.

      More's the pity.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:10AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:10AM (#957929)

    Nope, they are our constant brain-washing companions.
    Something to stare into so we can ignore the fscked up world around us.

    I refuse to have one.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:18AM (#957932)

      Internet bad.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:29AM (#957938)

      I'm typing this comment on a phone so hahahaha fuck you.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @12:45AM (#957952)

      Sadist.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @01:41AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @01:41AM (#957984)

    It seems Ars Technica needs proofreaders, or new ones:

    Essential was Andy Rubin's next company after his previous gig at Google, where he lead the development of Android, taking the OS from nothing to the world's most popular operating system.

    Essential sent out a bizarre payment-processing email to some customers asking then to send in their photo IDs over email,

    English motherfucker! Can you write in it?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @01:59AM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @01:59AM (#957998)

      Things went downhill after they lost the talented Peter Bright aka @DrPizza.

      • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Friday February 14 2020, @04:44AM (2 children)

        by Magic Oddball (3847) on Friday February 14 2020, @04:44AM (#958066) Journal

        Things went downhill at Ars at least a couple of years before he left, when the staff was suddenly severely cut back, the site's interface became optimized just for mobiles, and the remaining staff began placing a much bigger emphasis on making videos instead of writing articles.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @01:18PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @01:18PM (#958773)

          Have the ArseHOLES of arstechnica made a video of Leroy Washington's LUSTY jailhouse GRUNTS as he sweatily labors "grooming" Peter Bright's FAT disgusting asshole for raping little boys and girls per https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=36039&page=1&cid=958527#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] giving Peter Bright the Anal Injected Death Sentence he merits for https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/peter-bright-charged-soliciting-sex-minors/ [dailydot.com] OR are they all HIDING what they are (a nest of PEDOPHILE perverts)?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @01:26PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @01:26PM (#958774)

            Hohohoho they should title that video "The jailhouse STRETCHING of Peter Bright by BIG BLACK RADIATOR HOSE".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @10:40PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @10:40PM (#958330)

        They FIRED Peter Bright's sicko PEDO in jail ass and here's your proof moron https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/peter-bright-charged-soliciting-sex-minors/ [dailydot.com] and as far as "journalists" (losers) go? Let's quote a REAL WRITER (Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens) "... public opinion of a nation is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse." & there is NOBODY that's MORE TRUTH about than "PEDro NOT TOO Bright"

        * In my past, those FOOLS pursued me all over the internet only to have their PERSONAL WEBSITES taken down by their hosting providers AND to have me show them as FAKES playing "technical smart" while I crushed them easily (especially Jeremy the WHIMP WEEZIL Reimer, lol & his obese BLOATED henchman Jay Little, lol - the "exchange expert" whom I CRUSHED proving to them all PUBLICLY off their private playpen @ the pedonest arsHOLEtechnica that halted exchange servers could be UNFROZEN by using memory clearing tools from MS' own documentation - so much for "arsHOLE" experts there (wannabes & LOSERS)).

        APK

        P.S.=> That's UGLY fucking SICK IN THE HEAD Pedophile is nothing more than a "GOITERMAN" (ever notice he HIDES his disgusting FROG-POUCH chin in photos with his hand or a beard (neither works)? No small wonder he HATES LIFE (especially in JAIL now that Leroy Washington gets to "HAVE HIS WAY" with him, lol - rightfully so, as "what goes around COMES around" (right up PEDO Bright's FAT DEFORMED ASS)... apk

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:45AM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:45AM (#958421)

          You might have autism if you couldn't tell that was a JOKE.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:05PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:05PM (#958527)

            Only joke I see here is you & you're not funny: Now, what DID make ME "lmao"? Was when PEDrO NOT TOO Bright got "wise" w/ me & I floored his IRC server + RAN ALL HIS ArsHOLEtechnica CRONIES out of his chatrooms too via a floodbot I wrote & THEN?

            He came CRYING to NTCompatible.com where everyone LAUGHED @ HIM for being a BITCH crying about it - lol!

            * Hahahaha...

            APK

            P.S.=> Now THAT was FUNNY & he had it coming - he likes to play "bitch games"? Well, he was the BITCH (my BITCH) in the end of THAT too (the "great Peter Bright" yea? BS! He's a FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT BULLSHITTER who creates ZERO himself), as always - now? He is LEROY WASHINGTON's BITCH & you can BET "ole'Leroy" IS "taking liberties" with Peter the PEDO Bright & giving him a GOOD "STRETCHING" (& IF Peter PEDO manages to SURVIVE there, which I doubt a CREAMPUFF WEEZIL like him could? He'll have to wear DIAPERS the rest of his days, torn up sphincter & all after that BIG BLACK RADIATOR HOSE going in there like PEDO BRIGHT did to LITTLE BOYS, the sick fuck)... apk

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @08:35AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @08:35AM (#958738)

              Congratulations, you made Peter Bright look like the good guy.

              Your death would be celebrated if anyone gave a shit about you.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:00PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:00PM (#958761)

                Oh look everyone: ANOTHER deluded pedo homo - YOU, FUCKBOY! STFU you TWISTED abnormal fucking ArseHOLEtechnica reject loser. That bullshit "doubletalk" only TWISTED HOMO PEDOS like YOU might try MAY fool a creep like you (you've done THAT to your LOSER self your entire WASTED life anyhow - no surprise, lol), but it doesn't myself OR anyone else you ABNORMAL DESTESTABLE ABOMINATION.

                I'll NEVER forget when I asked him "I heard talk you are gay on arstechnica" (which I did, he was apparently "making passes" @ young men there) & that utter CREEP tried this line of "smokescreen bullshit":

                "... but I'm married"

                LMAO like THAT "fools anyone" but his deluded crackpot TWISTED self!

                Talk about a "put up job"!

                FACTS - his "wife" is a DRUGGED OUT LOON (which HE himself noted, on every anti-psychotic or anti-depressant there is in his writings online) who lives in iirc, San Diego while HE lives in NYC? Please - talk obvious "cover story" for a crackpot PSYCHO child molester so he could come to the USA & try for citizenship with monies OBVIOUSLY put up by his SATANIC "Synagogue of SATAN" colleague Ken Fisher (punk bitch loser WHIMP too).

                LMAO! Like THAT "fools anyone" but a FUCKUP like himself, lol - plenty of TWISTOS try THAT "little maneuver" to TRY to "appear normal" & it NEVER works - their SHEER ABNORMALITY always shows thru & in Peter Bright's case, it SURELY did & it eventually FUCKED HIM OVER hard & rightfully so.

                So once again, IF he survives JAIL? I doubt he would survive long OUTSIDE once SOMEONE COMES OVER THE QUEENS NY & bashes his UGLY HEAD IN with a baseball bat. That's too good for a CHILD RAPER like him imo... sulfuric acid poured into his ears and eye sockets would be more fitting for an CHILD MOLESTER like him (you probably are one too fuckboy).

                APK

                P.S.=> You are a LOSER motherfucker, no questions asked - a PUNY little CUNT loser JUST LIKE "Peter PEDrO Not too BRIGHT" - I'd like to see a WORM "not man" like YOU saying your SHIT in front of MY FACE since I'd BASH your PEDO FUCKING FACE IN cunt... apk

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:09PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:09PM (#958762)

                We WILL celebrate YOUR death by AIDS Peter Bright since you being a Teddy Bear in JAIL will assure that. Serves you right child molester that you are. Hope Leroy Washington enjoys shoving his BIG BLACK RADIATOR HOSE up your ugly fatboy ass while giving you the Anally Injected Death Sentence a freak like him (and you) rightfully deserve.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:34PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:34PM (#958769)

                Your hemorrhoids hurting Peter Bright? Obviously. Leroy Washington's numerous anal penetrations of you have done their dirty work as he "grooms" you for your inevitable AIDS death you so rightfullly have merited you detestable piece of pedophile filth and no amount of Preparation H can't soothe your pain we all enjoy you enduring. Give a shit? You can't even hold your shit after the ass-reamings you've had in jail hahahaha. Grunts and squeals (the latter from you and the former from Leroy with you covered in his sweat due to his exertions and ministrations on you, hehehe) with echo from cold jail cell walls is all we hear out of you. They are your themesong no matter where you go in your now soon to be short life, and there is no escaping it. Enjoy life as a shunned arstechnica loser you all are. Oh the shame of it for you nest of pedophiles.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday February 14 2020, @01:45AM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Friday February 14 2020, @01:45AM (#957989) Journal

    Worth $360 million [nytimes.com]

    --
    Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @03:03AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @03:03AM (#958034)

    I'm using it to write this. The reception isn't very good and the touchscreen sucks horribly, but it has good specs. For $1000, definitely not a good value at all. I got mine on fire sale for $250, and it was probably worth that. It looks amazing, but appearance isn't everything. Best part is that it always got updates immediately, sometimes even ahead of the Pixel phones. But that's done, now, unfortunately.

    At least they are making it possible for the community to continue to update the software, and I think the bootloader is unlocked, so it'll still be somewhat possible to keep it updated.

    • (Score: 1) by Frosty Piss on Friday February 14 2020, @07:36AM

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Friday February 14 2020, @07:36AM (#958111)

      And that is the point. This project was DOA.

    • (Score: 2) by Farkus888 on Friday February 14 2020, @03:38PM

      by Farkus888 (5159) on Friday February 14 2020, @03:38PM (#958170)

      I had 2. I liked the phone, when it worked. The first was DOA, don't remember the specific issue. The second worked for a week before it developed the same issue. I got a different phone after that.

  • (Score: 1) by paul_engr on Sunday February 16 2020, @03:15AM

    by paul_engr (8666) on Sunday February 16 2020, @03:15AM (#958673)

    Nobody wanted a 3:72 aspect ratio phone. Shocking, I must say. Shocking!

    Wait, no. It was a terrible idea. So was laser sintered titanium. Just make a good phone next time?

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