When the father of Android, Andy Rubin, launched the Essential Phone recently, most of us expected great things. The phone certainly looks appealing with thin bezels and good looks. Last month the white version was delayed, but black versions were still shipping quickly. However, a new report has surfaced that claims Essential Products has sold a scant 5,000 units via Sprint since the smartphone launched there as an exclusive (which few were happy about).
If you compare Essential to Apple and Samsung, the gulf is gigantic with both of those firms selling tens of millions of devices each quarter in the States. The 5,000 unit report comes from BayStreet, a company that tracks shipments of phones and other devices around the country. BayStreet says that the 5,000 unit number is an estimate of sell-through meaning actual devices sold to customers rather than sell-in where the retailer buys the products from the manufacturer.
It's also worth noting that this estimate is only for Sprint sell-through and doesn't count direct sales of the smartphone via Essential. With the unpopularity off the Sprint network, it wouldn't be out of line to expect sales directly from Essential to be higher. However, Essential isn't offering up any details on official sales figures.
One of the issues with sales is likely the price. At $699 price point for the Essential Phone, you can get devices from established brands for the same money. The Essential Phone does have some high-end hardware inside with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 128GB of internal storage, and a titanium and ceramic body. Another issue is that Essential launched right in the window where smartphone fans desperate for an upgrade also had new iPhones and the new Galaxy Note 8 to lust over. It's very hard to steer smartphone fans from those very high-profile devices to a new entrant to the smartphone market like Essential.
If you buy the device from Sprint, it will cost you $14.58 monthly over 18 months with no money down. Devices purchased via Essential's website are unlocked and will work on all carriers.