At the end of May, Andy Rubin’s new company, Essential, officially announced its first smartphone: The Essential Phone. And while the company was quick to point out that the handset is unlocked, and that it will indeed work on all four of the major wireless carriers in the United States, there were still questions regarding an actual carrier launch.
Mainly, if there would be one at all. And it turns out that the Essential Phone will have an exclusive carrier to call home. Today, Essential president Niccolo de Masi informed USA Today that Sprint will be the exclusive wireless carrier to host the Essential Phone. According to Masi, Sprint is the “network of the future,” and that’s partly why the company chose to partner up with the Now Network.
It’s probably worth noting, too, that Andy Rubin is a friend of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, and that SoftBank owns 83% of Sprint itself, so maybe the partnership isn’t all that surprising.
As for Sprint itself, the carrier will be making room for the Essential Phone in its retail stores so that it is noticeable to customers that walk in, but the device itself won’t host any Sprint branding on its body. And while the phone does work with all the carriers, this at least gives Essential some marketing space across the United States, outside of the traditional advertisements the company will probably be running.
It remains unknown when the Essential Phone will actually arrive in Sprint stores, though.
Did you already reserve your Essential Phone, or do you plan on checking it out in a Sprint store now before you make a final decision?