Essential, a company founded by the creator of Android Andy Rubin, announced it has ceased operations.
Andy Rubin founded Essential back in 2015. The company's first Essential PH-1 smartphone came two years later in a titanium body with a ceramic back, featured a minimalistic design, and an Android OS.
In October, the company introduced Project GEM, a new mobile experience that its hardware, software and cloud teams have been building and testing for the past few years. Project GEM was a small smartphone with basic functionality. The company's vision was "to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people’s lifestyle needs." Despite their efforts, the company failed to bring Gem to customers. Given this, they made the decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential.
As part of the company wind down, the security update for PH-1 released on February 3 is the last update from the Essential software team. The PH-1 will continue to work but Essential will not be providing any additional updates or customer support. For developer fans, a prebuilt of Essential's vendor image and everything else needed to keep hacking on PH-1 will be hosted on our github.