In the six months that the Essential Phone was available in 2017, the startup company shipped only 88,000 units and shows that the company, despite its deep Android roots in Andy Rubin, has a long way to go to hit the mainstream.
The figures came from IDC researcher Francisco Jeronimo who posted it on Twitter.
— Francisco Jeronimo (@fjeronimo) February 12, 2018
The numbers certainly reflect on what was a difficult birthing process for the company’s first phone.
After shipping a few weeks late, the immediate reviews of the Essential PH-1 were less than glowing. Multiple users and reviewers reported issues with the quality of camera and photos as well as overall stability of the device. Couple that with a launch price of some $700, it scared a reasonable amount of people away from the device.
For their part, Essential has addressed both of these. The company has been churning out software updates every few weeks and now the Essential Phone is rock solid both from a stability as well as a camera perspective. Second, the company dropped the price of the phone down to the $499 mark and all indications are that has helped move units out the door.
The question facing the company is how do that make sure they don’t stumble on the next generation of the phone, which is in the works according to staff on an Essential AMA on Reddit? Clearly they need to make sure that the experience out of the box is rock solid with a camera that is stellar. But they likely will need to consider pricing points too. The PH-1 was aimed at the flagship end of the market but that is rare air these days, dominated by a few players. Can they break into that realm or would it be better to undercut that price but still offer a premium experience, ala OnePlus?
No matter how you look at it, the figures for Essential are poor for a phone that’s been out six months. Hopefully they can recover and have a strong win with the second shot at it.