Essentially no one can buy an Essential Phone.

Amazon and Tencent Back Smartphone Maker Essential:

Essential Products Inc., the smartphone maker founded by the creator of Google’s Android mobile software, confirmed it has a new $300 million war chest as it prepares for the seemingly insurmountable task of taking on Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Inc.

The startup on Wednesday unveiled the large roster of investors taking a chance on it, including Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY 0.28% and Amazon Inc.’s AMZN -0.69% Alexa Fund. Essential also disclosed that Best Buy Co. stores and Inc. will be its retail launch partners in the U.S.

But the company stopped short of the big reveal: When exactly its $699 titanium-encased smartphone will be available.

Great, Andy Rubin’s company has 300 million dollars. Good for them. They still haven’t shipped their Essential phone.

One more clarification: they aren’t taking on Apple, they’re taking on Samsung. Samsung is the largest manufacturer of Android phones in the world with a 48.7% share. Huawei is a distant 6.4%. They need to tackle Samsung before they tackle Apple.

After reading the features of the Essential Phone, I can’t list any competitive advantages it has. It has top-of-the-line specs (as of 2017) and an edge-to-edge screen (quickly becoming table stakes).

The Essential Phone hardly represents traditional competition, let alone asymmetric competition.