The latest bad news for the fledgling hardware startup
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Essential has laid off 30 percent of its employees today, the company confirmed to 彭博, coming on the heels of earlier reports back in May that Essential had canceled its upcoming second phone and was exploring selling the company.
While a sale still hasn’t materialized, the layoffs mark the latest storm clouds on the horizon for Android founder Andy Rubin’s fledgling firm, which has yet to release a new product since the original Essential Phone launched last fall. According to 彭博, the cuts were mainly made in Essential’s hardware and sales divisions.
The future of Essential remains extremely unclear. 彭博 had previously reported last week that Essential was instead putting its efforts into a new AI-based phone that would primarily be controlled through voice commands and handle things like booking meetings or automatically responding to texts and emails for the user, but there’s no word as to when that device would hit the market. The company also promised a new modular accessory that would add a headphone jack to the current Essential Phone model that was supposed to ship over the summer, but still has yet to materialize.
In a statement released to 的边缘, an Essential spokesperson commented that “This has been a difficult decision to make. We are very sorry for the impact on our colleagues who are leaving the company and are doing everything we can to help them with their future careers. We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product.”
Update October 17th, 3:10pm: Added statement from Essential.