After briefly teasing one of the wildest phones we’ve seen in years, Essential Products announced today the company is shutting down. Founded by Andy Rubin, often regarded as the “Father of Android,” the company never really got off the ground. The first Essential phone looked dated on release, and its latest “Project Gem” phone never even saw the light of day.
The company announced the news in a blog post today, explaining that it had taken its Gen concept as far as it could go. In the company’s words:
Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential.
It’s an unfortunate outcome for a company once valued at a billion dollars. But the smartphone market is challenging and constantly changing, even once significant players like Nokia and Blackberry couldn’t keep up.
The company didn’t say what would happen to its existing assets. We’ll update this post if any new information comes to light.