Andy Rubin's hopes of building a hardware empire have been dashed.
The Android creator is considering putting its business on the selling block and has already decided to cancel its upcoming Essential Phone 2, Bloomberg is reporting. At least one company has already considered an acquisition, according to the report, but Essential is eyeing whether other companies might have interest, as well.
Essential came on the tech scene last year with a splash due in large part to Rubin and his promise of outstanding gadgets that people would love. He planned to kick things off with the Essential Phone and then offer a variety of other products in subsequent launches.
The problems, however, started to surface when Essential started to delay its phone's launch and didn't get it to customers until several weeks after they had anticipated its release. And even when they did get their hands on the handset, they found it had several shortcomings, including lower-than-expected battery life.
In his review of the Essential Phone last year, Tom's Guide editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer gave the handset a score of 6 out of 10. He called the smartphone "gorgeous" and really liked its "edge-to-edge screen." But he said that the Essential Phone's camera performance was downright disappointing and its lack of wireless charging and a headphone jack made it less appealing. He also noted the phone suffered from disappointing battery life.
Soon after the Essential Phone's launch, there were reports that the device wasn't performing well on store shelves. Although Essential never commented on sales, it was clear from the onset that things weren't necessarily going well.
There had been rumors that Essential was working on a new version of its smartphone, the Essential Phone 2. Bloomberg's sources, however, say that the company has discontinued the handset. Instead, Essential is now dedicating its business to a smart home device that it hopes to launch next year.
Essential hasn't decided whether it wants to entirely leave the phone market or give it another go in the future. Ultimately, that decision might be made by its next owner.