When Android co-creator Andy Rubin took the wraps off the Essential Phone around the end of May, the Playground and Essential CEO also said the phone would ship within the following 30 days. It has been over 30 days since then, and even though the Essential Phone is not yet at my doorstep, I am perfectly okay with that.
Regardless of Rubin’s pedigree in the industry, Essential is the new kid on the block. There are plenty of wrinkles for such a young player to iron out, some of which a company like OnePlus, which has been on the market for over three years, is still working out.
It’s not as if Essential has stood on its laurels – the company received a $300 million investment in June, which means that the company is now valued somewhere between $900 million and $1 billion. Along with the $30 million the company raised in 2016, Essential is in a better position than other nascent smartphone manufacturers, at least financially.
Furthermore, it helps that we have learned plenty about the Essential Phone since its announcement. For example, we now know that the phone will be a Sprint exclusive in the U.S., though Essential promises the unlocked version will work on all four of the country’s major carriers. The Essential Phone is also available for pre-order for $699, a pretty high price tag for a smartphone from an unknown player.
By comparison, the OnePlus 5 packs very similar specifications for a lower price tag, which lines up with OnePlus’ business philosophy of using cost to attract customers. Essential wants a slightly different crowd, however, one that is willing to throw $699 at the company to receive a phone with a more futuristic and modular design.
To make that happen, however, Essential must make sure the Essential Phone is as market-ready as possible, and if that means it passes the 30-day window Rubin promised the phone would ship in, then I am okay with that. Of course, I do not want that to be a trend moving forward, but I am optimistic about Essential’s future prospects. What are your thoughts? Let us know down in the comments.