Essential Phone coming to UK, followed by Western Europe and Japan

According to The Financial Times, Andy Rubin’s company has already held talks with UK operators for the Essential Phone launch.

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The Essential Phone hasn’t even arrived in the US yet, but the latest report indicates that Andy Rubin is already preparing for its international expansion. The minimalist modular phone, which was created for “trend setters and technology seekers,” according to the company’s chief operating officer Niccolo de Masi, was supposed to start shipping in the US within 30 days or so from the official announcement. Essential missed that window for whatever reason, but its ambition to challenge Samsung and Apple is stronger than ever, it seems.

Andy Rubin is working with telecommunications companies around the world to launch the Essential Phone in the UK, other Western European countries, as well as Japan.

The Financial Times claims that Andy Rubin is already working with telecommunications companies around the world to launch the Essential Phone in the UK, other Western European countries, as well as Japan. It’s unclear which regions specifically will get this bezel-less ceramic device, but if the report is true, its UK launch date might not be too far away. Essential has reportedly held talks with UK networks last week to decide on a launch date and a potential exclusive deal. In the US, Sprint is Essential’s exclusive partner, and in Canada, it’s Telus; however, it’s not clear whether the company will take a similar approach in the UK.

The phone is priced at $699 in the US, meaning if we translate it directly, the device could set you back anywhere from £650 to £699. Speaking with The Financial Times, Niccolo de Masi seems confident that the Essential Phone will be enough to shift the way the smartphone market is structured now, implying that the device will accelerate the pace of innovation, which is often manipulated and slowed down by companies like Samsung and Apple in an effort to “boost quarterly profits.”

Niccolo de Masi says the US launch is “imminent.”

The Essential Phone is still expected to launch in Canada at the end of this summer, and de Masi says the US launch is “imminent.” While there are fans out there who are disappointed by the slight delay, it looks like the wait will be over soon enough.

The Essential Phone looks promising: it offers pure Android experience (after all, it’s Andy Rubin we’re talking about), a mesmerizing design thanks to the ceramic body and titanium frame, as well as impressive specs, including its modular back. However, it’s unlikely that the device will have enough market reach to be a threat to the two largest smartphone makers in the world. Essential will most likely resort to exclusive partnerships with carriers around the world to gain access to mainstream distribution networks. This combined with the for-tech-enthusiasts approach could become Essential’s core identity but also its downfall.