Report: Andy Rubin’s Essential PH-1 Coming To Europe & Japan

July 17, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

The Essential PH-1 developed by startup Essential Products founded by Android’s creator Andy Rubin will make its way to the United Kingdom later this year, according to a recent report from the Financial Times. The upcoming bezel-less smartphone is also said to be planned for a release in Western Europe and Japan, according to the same source. The Palo Alto, California-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recently held talks with British mobile service providers over a potential exclusivity deal, similar to the one that the firm announced with Sprint earlier this year. It’s currently unclear when the Essential PH-1 may be released in the UK and the company’s other target markets, especially given how even its stateside launch has been delayed for an unknown reason. The OEM’s Chief Operating Officer Niccolo de Masi recently claimed that the handset is just about to debut in the United States, though that promise has yet to come true.

Likewise, there’s still no information on how much the Essential PH-1 will be going for outside of the startup’s home country where it’s set to be released with a price tag of approximately $700, and the same goes for its modular accessories that Rubin’s firm is looking to sell. According to de Masi’s latest statements, the consumer electronics manufacturer is looking to challenge Apple and Samsung’s grasp on the smartphone market which it believes isn’t beneficial to consumers as it led to less product diversity. Rubin himself previously provided a similar perspective on the matter, suggesting that the Essential PH-1 will be looking to address a number of issues troubling the Android ecosystem including bloatware and planned obsolescence, as well as irregular updates due to software fragmentation. The handset itself is also meant to be more future-proof than its alternatives, though it remains to be seen whether the company manages to deliver on that front.

Apart from the firm’s exclusivity deal with Sprint and possible partnerships with carriers in other markets, the Essential PH-1 is also set to be sold unlocked directly by the company. More information on the commercial availability of the smartphone should follow in the coming weeks, if not sooner.