Back in October last year, Essential announced the GEM, a phone with a very unique form factor. Now, the company has announced that it is ceasing operations and shutting down.
In a statement on the company blog, Essential says that it has taken the GEM as far as it could. But even then, the company still “have no clear path to deliver it to customers“.
For those who owned the original Essential Phone, codenamed PH-1, its 3 February update was the last official one. Though the company says that all the tools anyone would need to keep hacking the PH-1 will be hosted on GitHub.
With the shuttering of Essential also comes the end of Newton Mail. This was a project the former took over when it acquired CloudMagic back in 2018. Users of the service will still have access to it until 30 April 2020.
It’s a shame that the company never got to release the Essential GEM. It sported an interesting form factor, even if a little impractical, which could’ve possibly shaken up the world of smartphone design. It also may have pushed voice recognition tech to new levels.
Probably worth mentioning is the fact that the company was already looking for a buyer back in 2018.