Essential, Android co-founder Andy Rubins new smartphone venture, had a rough go of it last year trying to get off the ground with a brand-new flagship handset. Not only did the device face some serious launch delays, but industry research firm IDC is now reporting that Essential sold fewer than 90,000 units in its first six months on the market. Francisco Jeronimo, IDCs research director, tweeted out the stat this morning, writing that the device is still a long way from becoming a successful venture. No one reasonably expected Rubins new smartphone company to go head-to-head with Apple or Samsung anytime soon (or ever for that matter). But 88,000 units, which is the exact figure IDC reports for Essential Phone sales in 2017, is still quite low and illustrates the uphill battle Rubin is fighting by launching a new phone in a mature, high-end market dominated by some of the worlds largest and most well-equipped corporations. Essential is effectively a startup, and although it has some of the best expertise in the business alongside Rubins reputation, the company may not be able to weather the storm as it slashes costs on the Essential Phone and gears up to inevitably try and launch a successor. The device itself is now $499 after some aggressive cost-cutting and a temporary $399 Cyber Monday deal, suggesting Essentials margins may be razor-thin at this point as it tries to get more units out into the wild. How long the company continues down this path is up in the air, but the phone is still receiving camera updates, and an eventual Android 8.1 Oreo update is coming soon.
That's within 6 months after the official launch. Andy Rubin's Essential Phone found its way into our best-of lists this holiday season and had a couple of great price drops, including a $399 Cyber Monday deal. Still, the phone doesn't seem to be doing very well. According to a tweet from IDC research director Francisco Jeronimo, the phone sold less than 90,000 units in the first six months after it launched. . @Arubin's @essential smartphone is still a long way from becoming a successful venture. In 2017, it shipped less than 90K units (first six months after launch) Even if Essential had sold twice or three times as many phones, it would still be a long way off from disrupting Samsung or Apple dominance in the market, with the latter company selling over 1 million iPhone 8s and Xs per day according to Forbes. Of course, this is a startup and Essential Phone is its first product. No one expects Apple-level shipments right away. Still, the number is pretty low, especially given the hype around the device. The Rubin-led company has had several snafus in getting its flagship phone to market, too, including months-long delays and lawsuits claiming that Essential's accessory technology is stolen.