Essential sees no way to ship the Gem phone and is closing down

Posted:
in General Discussion
Essential is never going to ship the Gem smartphone, and is ending support for the Essential Phone and Newton Mail as the company shuts down.




Essential Products, founded by Android co-founder Andy Rubin in 2015, was responsible for the inception of the Essential Phone in 2017.

The Essential Phone -- dubbed the PH-1 -- was a 5.71-inch ceramic and titanium smartphone that boasted an edge-to-edge QHD display. The PH-1 never caught on quite like the company hoped it would, and Essential announced its discontinuation in December 2018.

Essential planned to continue manufacturing smartphones, announcing their next phone -- the Gem -- in October of 2019. The Gem will not see public release as Essential released a public statement that the company is preparing to shut down.

"In October, we introduced Project GEM, a new mobile experience that our hardware, software, and cloud teams have been building and testing for the past few years. Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people's lifestyle needs," the company said. "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."

As part of the shutdown, the PH-1 will no longer receive updates or customer support. Newton Mail, which was acquired by Essential in 2019, will also be ending its service on April 30, 2020.

Essential will be providing a prebuilt of their vendor image on their GitHub for users who want the ability to modify their systems themselves.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Wow, nobody saw that coming 🙄
    jbdragonn2itivguyGG1SpamSandwichanton zuykovravnorodomrepressthisStrangeDaysdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    jbdragonStrangeDaysanton zuykovrepressthislordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 40
    "Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people's lifestyle needs," the company said.

    My first thought: Apple already did this. 13 years ago, lol. 
    jbdragonking editor the graten2itivguyGG1radarthekatchiaFileMakerFellerflyingdpbestkeptsecretStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 40
    payecopayeco Posts: 446member
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    When you get a $100 million dollar payout for sexually harassing your employees you have a lot of cash to spread around. 
    jbdragonGG1retrogustoStrangeDaysanton zuykovchabigrepressthislordjohnwhorfinjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    Its actually ‘Eric Mole Schidt ‘ ! ........and as for Rubin, Karma is a bitch !
    edited February 2020 repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 40
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member
    payeco said:
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    When you get a $100 million dollar payout for sexually harassing your employees you have a lot of cash to spread around. 
    I'm sure Ruben is counting his blessings.  In today's #metoo environment, he would not get a penny and would ostracized from the tech world.  It's shameful how Google covered for this miscreant.
    jbdragonGG1StrangeDaysrepressthisdysamoriajony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    payeco said:
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    When you get a $100 million dollar payout for sexually harassing your employees you have a lot of cash to spread around. 
    He received 150M stock grant during the initial stages of the investigation and then a 90M exit package upon leaving Google.. Hahaha wow the rich truly take care of each other.



    tokyojimuStrangeDaysravnorodomrepressthisdysamoriajony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 40
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.

    Because they raised US $330 million in VC (and still have $30 million cash on hand)

    I doubt Rubin put any money of his own into it, so his wealth has nothing to do with the company.


    Though i do have a feeling the death of Essential & drying up of buyout offers from other tech giants was directly related to the risk from the publicity of Rubin's workplace scandal.
    edited February 2020 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,455member
    When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in 2007 the entire smartphone industry chuckled. Analysts said there was no way the iPhone could make it in a mature market dominated by Nokia and RIM. Steve Ballmer laughed too. We all know what happened. Now come new competitors and they are finding out the hard way those predictions about the smartphone market are just as true to day. They can't replicate the success of the iPhone and fall by the wayside.
    radarthekatflyingdpStrangeDaysanton zuykovravnorodomrepressthislordjohnwhorfinbadmonkjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 40
    lkrupp said:
    When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in 2007 the entire smartphone industry chuckled. Analysts said there was no way the iPhone could make it in a mature market dominated by Nokia and RIM. Steve Ballmer laughed too. We all know what happened. Now come new competitors and they are finding out the hard way those predictions about the smartphone market are just as true to day. They can't replicate the success of the iPhone and fall by the wayside.

    these were the headlines. Marketing. They were saying “we are competing against OS X in a phone”, search for Palm execs sayings. S. jobs said “we are ahead of 5 years”. Also marketing, but he was right (and he had to drop the price for the gizmo to catch up)

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,168member
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    I'm not aware of any evidence that indicates Eric Schmidt was "unethical", particularly as concerns his time on Apple's board. FWIW he is not the only Apple board member with an active tie to Google and no one seems to complain about "the other one". IMO there's a whole lotta assumption being tossed about, but the meat is lacking. Seriously lacking.  

     Andy Rubin on the other hand has a suitcase full of ethics issues following him around, enough to cause Google to lose confidence in him despite the success of Android. Horrid that Google gave him an exit package which is too close to an endorsement of his time there. Poor choice on Google's part to do so and one they seem to realize and not have repeated with Drummond.
    edited February 2020 FileMakerFellerBeatsCarnagemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 40

    these were the headlines. Marketing. They were saying “we are competing against OS X in a phone”, search for Palm execs sayings. S. jobs said “we are ahead of 5 years”. Also marketing, but he was right (and he had to drop the price for the gizmo to catch up)
    The "price drop" was due to a change in accounting methods, not a marketing ploy to boost market share.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    1st1st Posts: 443member
    interesting. didn't see it coming?  Andy taste the same fruit as BlackBerry.  what goes around... droid is target free for all cliental (majority), pricing matters more than other platform.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 40
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I didn't see this coming, because this is the first time I have ever heard of this phone. :)
    lordjohnwhorfinmystigoDancingMonkeyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40
    gatorguy said:
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    I'm not aware of any evidence that indicates Eric Schmidt was "unethical", particularly as concerns his time on Apple's board. FWIW he is not the only director with an active tie to Google and no one seems to complain about "the other one". IMO there's a whole lotta assumption being tossed about, but the meat is lacking. Seriously lacking.  

    Andy Rubin on the other hand has a suitcase full of ethics issues following him around, enough to cause Google to lose confidence in him despite the success of Android. Horrid that Google gave him an exit package which is too close to an endorsement of his time there. Poor choice on Google's part to do so and one they seem to realize and not have repeated with Drummond.
    Well, if Schmidt was truly ethical and wanted to avoid the conflict of interest, he would have resigned from Apple's BoD before Google ever became a direct competitor.  Like Bob Iger recently did.  Instead, he stuck around for another couple years.

    But, Google executives clearly have different interpretations of what ethical behavior is, and it's not just confined to Rubin or Schmidt.  Brin and Drummond have also engaged in shenanigans with their subordinates.  In most companies, that kind of behavior is grounds for dismissal, without any parting gifts.

    However, Google's culture seems to have different standards, starting at the top.
    edited February 2020 13485badmonkdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,168member
    citpeks said:
    gatorguy said:
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    I'm not aware of any evidence that indicates Eric Schmidt was "unethical", particularly as concerns his time on Apple's board. FWIW he is not the only director with an active tie to Google and no one seems to complain about "the other one". IMO there's a whole lotta assumption being tossed about, but the meat is lacking. Seriously lacking.  

    Andy Rubin on the other hand has a suitcase full of ethics issues following him around, enough to cause Google to lose confidence in him despite the success of Android. Horrid that Google gave him an exit package which is too close to an endorsement of his time there. Poor choice on Google's part to do so and one they seem to realize and not have repeated with Drummond.
    Well, if Schmidt was truly ethical and wanted to avoid the conflict of interest, he would have resigned from Apple's BoD before Google ever became a direct competitor.  Like Bob Iger recently did.  Instead, he stuck around for another couple years.

    But, Google executives clearly have different interpretations of what ethical behavior is, and it's not just confined to Rubin or Schmidt.  Brin and Drummond have also engaged in shenanigans with their subordinates.  In most companies, that kind of behavior is grounds for dismissal, without any parting gifts.

    However, Google's culture seems to have different standards, starting at the top.
    Google had a professed interest in developing Android as a phone OS from late in 2014 and bringing the entire project under Google's wing and control in January of 2015.  Fact. That was months before Mr Jobs ever gave the iPhone development a green light.  It's just as likely his decision was prompted by what he knew Google was doing, probably more so than Google stole the idea from Apple. 

    When Schmidt joined Apple's board Mr. Jobs was well aware of Google's Android and their work in creating a mobile phone operating system which would of course required phones running that OS. In fact he had it demoed for him as I recall reading some years ago, and he asked Schmidt to serve on the board anyway. Apple had no issue with Mr. Schmidt's ethics, whether you who knew nothing about it is. Steve Jobs was always welcome at Google.

    My assumption is he believed he could better influence them by giving one of their execs a seat at the table and a place on stage.  The anger began after he found he could not, tho Google did put off activating multi-touch as long as they reasonably could at Mr. Jobs request.
    edited February 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 40
    gatorguy said:
    citpeks said:
    gatorguy said:
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    I'm not aware of any evidence that indicates Eric Schmidt was "unethical", particularly as concerns his time on Apple's board. FWIW he is not the only director with an active tie to Google and no one seems to complain about "the other one". IMO there's a whole lotta assumption being tossed about, but the meat is lacking. Seriously lacking.  

    Andy Rubin on the other hand has a suitcase full of ethics issues following him around, enough to cause Google to lose confidence in him despite the success of Android. Horrid that Google gave him an exit package which is too close to an endorsement of his time there. Poor choice on Google's part to do so and one they seem to realize and not have repeated with Drummond.
    Well, if Schmidt was truly ethical and wanted to avoid the conflict of interest, he would have resigned from Apple's BoD before Google ever became a direct competitor.  Like Bob Iger recently did.  Instead, he stuck around for another couple years.

    But, Google executives clearly have different interpretations of what ethical behavior is, and it's not just confined to Rubin or Schmidt.  Brin and Drummond have also engaged in shenanigans with their subordinates.  In most companies, that kind of behavior is grounds for dismissal, without any parting gifts.

    However, Google's culture seems to have different standards, starting at the top.
    Google had a professed interest in developing Android as a phone OS from late in 2014 and bringing the entire project under Google's wing and control in January of 2015.  Fact. That was months before Mr Jobs ever gave the iPhone development a green light.  It's just as likely his decision was prompted by what he knew Google was doing, probably more so than Google stole the idea from Apple. 

    When Schmidt joined Apple's board Mr. Jobs was well aware of Google's Android and their work in creating a mobile phone operating system which would of course required phones running that OS. In fact he had it demoed for him as I recall reading some years ago, and he asked Schmidt to serve on the board anyway. Apple had no issue with Mr. Schmidt's ethics, whether you who knew nothing about it is. Steve Jobs was always welcome at Google.

    My assumption is he believed he could better influence them by giving one of their execs a seat at the table and a place on stage.  The anger began after he found he could not, tho Google did put off activating multi-touch as long as they reasonably could at Mr. Jobs request.
    iPhone began within Apple as a multitouch tablet project originally, then re-tooled to launch a phone first. They came back to the tablet later. 

    Original Android was a blackberry styled device. Then they saw iPhone and realized they had to change gears and copy it instead. Fact. 

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/13/12/19/googles-reaction-to-apples-iphone-unveiling-were-going-to-have-to-start-over-on-android


    edited February 2020 chabigapple ][Beatsbadmonkgilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    gatorguy said:
    Google had a professed interest in developing Android as a phone OS from late in 2014 and bringing the entire project under Google's wing and control in January of 2015.  Fact. That was months before Mr Jobs ever gave the iPhone development a green light.  It's just as likely his decision was prompted by what he knew Google was doing, probably more so than Google stole the idea from Apple. 

    When Schmidt joined Apple's board Mr. Jobs was well aware of Google's Android and their work in creating a mobile phone operating system which would of course required phones running that OS. In fact he had it demoed for him as I recall reading some years ago, and he asked Schmidt to serve on the board anyway. Apple had no issue with Mr. Schmidt's ethics, whether you who knew nothing about it is. Steve Jobs was always welcome at Google.

    My assumption is he believed he could better influence them by giving one of their execs a seat at the table and a place on stage.  The anger began after he found he could not, tho Google did put off activating multi-touch as long as they reasonably could at Mr. Jobs request.

    The bottom line is that an ethical person would have turned down the opportunity, recused themselves from sensitive meetings, or resigned to prevent any conflict of interest.  That's how ethical people behave, of their own volition, regardless of whether they're forced to, or not.

    Acting with principle.  Above board.  That's how ethical people behave, and Schmidt did none of those things.  Nothing you bring up could change that.

    edited February 2020 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,168member
    gatorguy said:
    citpeks said:
    gatorguy said:
    sflocal said:
    It's amazing that Andy Rubin is able to continue funding failures and not be in the poor house.  The originator of the knockoff iOS flops again.

    I consider Rubin as bad as Eric Schmidt in terms of ethics.
    I'm not aware of any evidence that indicates Eric Schmidt was "unethical", particularly as concerns his time on Apple's board. FWIW he is not the only director with an active tie to Google and no one seems to complain about "the other one". IMO there's a whole lotta assumption being tossed about, but the meat is lacking. Seriously lacking.  

    Andy Rubin on the other hand has a suitcase full of ethics issues following him around, enough to cause Google to lose confidence in him despite the success of Android. Horrid that Google gave him an exit package which is too close to an endorsement of his time there. Poor choice on Google's part to do so and one they seem to realize and not have repeated with Drummond.
    Well, if Schmidt was truly ethical and wanted to avoid the conflict of interest, he would have resigned from Apple's BoD before Google ever became a direct competitor.  Like Bob Iger recently did.  Instead, he stuck around for another couple years.

    But, Google executives clearly have different interpretations of what ethical behavior is, and it's not just confined to Rubin or Schmidt.  Brin and Drummond have also engaged in shenanigans with their subordinates.  In most companies, that kind of behavior is grounds for dismissal, without any parting gifts.

    However, Google's culture seems to have different standards, starting at the top.
    Google had a professed interest in developing Android as a phone OS from late in 2014 and bringing the entire project under Google's wing and control in January of 2015.  Fact. That was months before Mr Jobs ever gave the iPhone development a green light.  It's just as likely his decision was prompted by what he knew Google was doing, probably more so than Google stole the idea from Apple. 

    When Schmidt joined Apple's board Mr. Jobs was well aware of Google's Android and their work in creating a mobile phone operating system which would of course required phones running that OS. In fact he had it demoed for him as I recall reading some years ago, and he asked Schmidt to serve on the board anyway. Apple had no issue with Mr. Schmidt's ethics, whether you who knew nothing about it is. Steve Jobs was always welcome at Google.

    My assumption is he believed he could better influence them by giving one of their execs a seat at the table and a place on stage.  The anger began after he found he could not, tho Google did put off activating multi-touch as long as they reasonably could at Mr. Jobs request.
    iPhone began within Apple as a multitouch tablet project originally, then re-tooled to launch a phone first. They came back to the tablet later. 

    Original Android was a blackberry styled device. Then they saw iPhone and realized they had to change gears and copy it instead. Fact. 


    That's essentially true too, Apple had "Project Purple" (or Purple Project depending) that had the goal of producing a portable slab computer likely meant for media consumption, and parts of that project were used fast-tracking the iPhone while pausing tablet/slab computer work. 

    The fact remains Google started developing the Android smartphone OS before Steve Jobs gave approval to begin that iPhone project. Yes fact.

    So when Mr. Jobs signed off on committing to a smartphone he already knew Google had started down the same path, and when Mr. Schmidt was asked to join Apple's board it was with the full knowledge Google was invested in smartphones and OS creation. Partly due to the already-in-development tablet project with what would be useful smartphone components already planned out, and then combined with a greater level of urgency as Apple typically has, they were able to get the iPhone out to market in what was honestly a short timeframe. Google tends to plod and pivot. Waymo is a poster child. 
    edited February 2020 avon b7Beats
  • Reply 20 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,168member
    citpeks said:
    gatorguy said:
    Google had a professed interest in developing Android as a phone OS from late in 2014 and bringing the entire project under Google's wing and control in January of 2015.  Fact. That was months before Mr Jobs ever gave the iPhone development a green light.  It's just as likely his decision was prompted by what he knew Google was doing, probably more so than Google stole the idea from Apple. 

    When Schmidt joined Apple's board Mr. Jobs was well aware of Google's Android and their work in creating a mobile phone operating system which would of course required phones running that OS. In fact he had it demoed for him as I recall reading some years ago, and he asked Schmidt to serve on the board anyway. Apple had no issue with Mr. Schmidt's ethics, whether you who knew nothing about it is. Steve Jobs was always welcome at Google.

    My assumption is he believed he could better influence them by giving one of their execs a seat at the table and a place on stage.  The anger began after he found he could not, tho Google did put off activating multi-touch as long as they reasonably could at Mr. Jobs request.

    The bottom line is that an ethical person would have turned down the opportunity, recused themselves from sensitive meetings, or resigned to prevent any conflict of interest.  That's how ethical people behave, of their own volition, regardless of whether they're forced to, or not.

    Acting with principle.  Above board.  That's how ethical people behave, and Schmidt did none of those things.  Nothing you bring up could change that.

    You're clueless. Surely you don't think someone walks into Apple's boardroom, takes a seat and says "Hey guys, mind if I join you?"

    Mssrs Brin and Page were very good friends with Mr. Jobs, a mentor to them in some ways, who early on was asked to lead Google. He respectfully declined and soon returned to Apple where his heart lay while Schmidt was hired fresh out of Sun Micro to head up Google's growth. It was Steve Jobs himself that asked Google to allow Schmidt to sit on Apple's BoD, and as they were friends of course they would have said yes. It was an honor. Google wasn't hiding Android or their interest in mobile and Apple was apparently fine with it. There was no "ethics" issue to address.

    It wasn't even primarily the iPhone that caused Schmidt to leave the board when he did. It was the threat of an antitrust action that forced Apple and Google's hands with an inquiry into how sharing leadership might be stifling competition with their deep cooperation. Personally I think Microsoft had a hand in that as it was common knowledge Google and Apple were creating a tag-team to take them on. 
    https://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/technology/companies/04apple.html

    Would the two have had a split at some point anyway? Almost certainly IMO. There would be more markets where the two would have been competing. It happened when it did because of the government forcing it even if the end result might have been the same anyway. The tag team was no longer as essential as it initially was once Microsoft was blunted. That what happens with a lot of partnerships when common goals start to dissipate.

    edited February 2020
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