Remember the Essential phone? Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, announced his venture to launch his new smartphone company that he set in May. The idea was hailed by a great fanfare. The first product, the Essential phone, was a slim-bezel smartphone with a small and keen front camera carved beautifully into the screen and body of titanium and ceramic and the specs were high-end with an updated Snapdragon 835.
Rubin announced that the device would be released by June 30. Now July passed, August has passed. We had been waiting. There was no clue of what’s going on with Essential.
Only till now.
We recently heard from Rubin again to know that Essential is finally ready to launch. Company President Niccolo De Masi informed The Wall Street Journal that an “exact” release date will be announced next week. Rubin’s Twitter threw up some pictures of the assembly lines that shows a modern day high-end device body of titanium developing to its final shape.
Essential gets to production with the $300 million investment by Bloomberg in June as confirming to The Wall Street Journal. Amazon and Tencent Holdings Ltd are the main investors.
This $699 device is to be an exclusive US carrier partner, Sprint, along with an unlocked version available at Amazon which seems to be quite integrated into Rubin’s project. And Amazon’s investment is through “The Alexa Fund,” a VC fund designed for devices that will run Amazon’s voice software.
Point to be noted: Essential Phone may come with Alexa onboard. Amazon is expanding its wings to new territories. If you remember how Amazon preferred forbearance after its Fire Phone received heavy criticism for not withstanding a PlayStore like freedom, you may see the online giant expanding its horizons in new ways.