Essential has laid off 30 percent of its staff

Donna Miller
October 19, 2018

Other than the 360° VR camera, Essential has not released a new modular product for the PH-1. It was Rubin's first startup after leaving Google in 2014, which had acquired his co-founded firm, Android, in 2005.

Cuts were particularly deep in hardware and marketing.

Essential's first phone came out in August 2017, a few weeks later than initially promised. A spokesperson for the company said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg that it was a hard decision to make, adding that they are sorry for the impact on their colleagues who are leaving and are doing everything they can to help them with their future careers.

While the company at the time refused to comment, Rubin appeared to confirm that the Essential 2 had been binned with a post on Twitter.

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This is another setback for the beleaguered company during a very rocky 2018.

"We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace cancelling some in favour of the ones we think will be bigger hits", he said at the time.

That said, the company had a valuation of almost $1 billion in 2017 and was seeking additional financing earlier this year. It may have been or may remain up for sale.

After taking a break from the negative spotlight for a couple of months, Essential is back in the news. Rubin said the relationship was consensual and didn't involve someone who reported to him.

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