Andy Rubin Reportedly Looking to Put Essential Up for Sale, Cancels Work on Next Smartphone

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Andy Rubin is trying to sell Essential, a smartphone startup company he created about a year ago.

The Android co-creator has reportedly cancelled development of its next smartphone and started looking for someone to purchase the company. The report notes that the company has hired Credit Suisse Group AH to advise them on the potential sale.

Essential has raised a total of $330 million from its investors, which includes Rubin’s own Playground Global and Tencent Holdings. The sale comes after the company struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. In a statement, a spokesperson from Essential said:

“We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace cancelling some in favour of the ones we think will be bigger hits. We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products.”

The Essential phone went on sale in August for $699 with a new design that featured reduced bezels. The design was very quickly adopted in the smartphone industry, with Apple and Samsung taking the lead.

Sales of the Essential Phone were reportedly poor, with the company only selling 88,000 phones in 2017. Low sales numbers for the device prompted the company to reduce the price of the smartphone by $200.

The Essential Phone is still on sale and will continue to be on sale for an indefinite period of time, as the company has not announced a clear plan as to when they will end sales of the device. The company will also continue its work on Essential Home, their version of a home assistant that would run ambient OS, which intends to unify the customer’s experience.