Essential, Andy Rubin’s phone company, is shutting down

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Essential is shutting down less than three years after the startup unveiled its first smartphone. The company’s one and only product, the Essential Phone, sold poorly and received mixed reviews. A follow-up phone was canceled, and a number of other promised devices — like a smart home assistant and operating system — never materialized.

The startup was founded by Android creator Andy Rubin. While that initially drew hype and investment, it quickly turned backward on the company after a New York Times report drew attention to accusations of sexual misconduct against Rubin that led to him leaving Google.

Essential was in the process of developing another phone, called “Project Gem,” with an unusual design. Rubin first teased the project in…

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