World+dog ignores Rubin's Wonderdroid

(In)Essential device shipped just 88,000 units last year

The Essential Phone

Essential's much-hyped debut phone failed to reach six-figure sales last year, despite heavy discounts.

Analyst IDC's research director, Francisco Jeronimo, reckons Essential sold 88,000 units in 2017.

Android godfather Andy Rubin's debut was much anticipated and snagged Sprint as the exclusive carrier. But it appeared late – and the attention didn't translate into sales.

After reportedly moving just 5,000 phones in the first month, the phone was discounted to $399 in the Black Friday sales.

By contrast, Jeronimo also notes, Google shifted 3.9 million Pixels in 2017. Google acquired Rubin's Android Inc. in 2005 and now dominates the mobile platform market thanks to the shrewd acquisition.

Rubin has hinted that the phone is part of a wider home automation ecosystem – as the phone's model number ("PH-1") suggests. But as we discussed here, it's hard for a startup to succeed; even giant consumer electronics companies like Apple and Samsung have struggled to convince the market their homes need automating. ®




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