Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile operating system, launched his own, new phone called the Essential Phone back in May and earlier today Dieter Bohn reported the Essential Phone dropped $200 in price (always a sign of a smash hit):
Essential is slashing the price of its eponymous phone, down to $499 at its website. That’s a $200 price cut from the original $699 price, less than two months after it began shipping to customers. There is really no other way to read the move except as a signal that it wasn’t selling well at $699 — especially given that the only US carrier stores it’s available in have “Sprint” above the door. It certainly doesn’t help that it now has to face the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL head-to-head.
I’m not sure what Andy Rubin expected. The market is extremely crowded, even if you take out the iPhone. Competing with just Samsung for Android market share is plenty of competition.
Let’s not forget the Essential Phone didn’t ship on time back in July.
Rubin’s first Essential blog post, Why I started Essential, kinda sorta sheds some light on things, but I’m still left confused:
For all the good Android has done to help bring technology to nearly everyone it has also helped create this weird new world where people are forced to fight with the very technology that was supposed to simplify their lives. Was this what we had intended? Was this the best we could do?
I left that night reflecting deeply on what was great and what was frustrating with the current state of technology today. After another long talk with my friend we decided that I needed to start a new kind of company using 21st century methods to build products for the way people want to live in the 21st century.
I don’t use Android devices, but are people “fighting” with their Android phones? I’m also not convinced the Essential Phone distinguishes itself from other Android phones like the Pixel 2 and the Galaxy 8.
Nerds are getting great at building products, but they have to get better at marketing them. I recommend they read every book by Seth Godin for starters.