May 24, 2018

Android creator may sell Essential, scraps production of new phone

Andy Rubin checks his Android smartphone. Photo: Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images

Essential Products Inc., the startup of Android creator Andy Rubin, has cancelled production of its latest phone and is considering selling itself, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: Rubin had raised a ton of money but sales of its first phone were sluggish.

The details: Essential has reportedly commissioned Credit Suisse Group AG to broker the potential sale and "is now actively shopping itself to potential suitors," per Bloomberg. The company had been valued between $900 million to $1 billion last year, Bloomberg adds. Essential didn’t comment directly on the possible sale, but confirmed to Axios in a statement it has canceled some projects. 

“We always have multiple products in development at the same time and we embrace canceling some in favor of the ones we think will be bigger hits. We are putting all of our efforts towards our future, game-changing products, which include mobile and home products.”
— Spokesperson for Essential

The bottom line: Essential had hoped to do more than phones, but by starting with a phone, the company risked not getting beyond that. The phone market is a highly competitive business where most of the Android sales and profits go to Samsung as others fight for scraps.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.