Technology

Essential Phone Available For Some At Less Than Half The Original Price

Essential PH-1 got a price cut just a few weeks ago, when $200 was offered as a credit to customers. Now, in a surprising move, the Essential PH-1 smartphone has received another hefty discount, bringing down the price to almost half the original price of $700. However, Andy Rubin’s startup has underlined some conditions for the buyers to get the full discount.

Essential PH-1 smartphone
Image source: https://shop.essential.com/

Essential PH-1 smartphone – how can you get the discount?

To get the Essential phone for $299, a customer should have the Friends and Family discount code. To receive the code, the customer should have purchased the Essential PH-1 smartphone at full price before Oct. 22. Further, the customer should also have made the purchase from Essential, BestBuy, Amazon or Sprint. Thereafter, a form needs to be filled out, giving some information about the previously purchased Essential phone. Details such as unique IMEI number and serial number need to be furnished, and the form should be submitted before November 15.

“If you purchased an Essential Phone prior to October 22nd, we are offering a $200 Friends & Family code to use towards a new Essential Phone or Essential 360 Camera,” the company said in a blog post.

The drastic price cuts may suggest grim sales of the Essential PH-1 phones. According to the research firm BayStreet Research, just 5,000 devices were sold in the first two weeks in the United States, much less compared to companies such as Samsung and Apple. According to Fortune, it would be around $3.5 million in revenue for the company, which is peanuts compared to the capital of $300 million raised from the investors earlier this year in a Series B funding round.

The Essential Phone sports a 5.71-inch Quad HD touch-screen display, 4GB RAM, and 2.35 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. It has a 13MP rear camera (laser autofocus and OIS), while the front camera is 8MP.

What went wrong?

On the cusp of its launch, the PH-1 was undoubtedly the most anticipated phone of the year. As the phone launched, the features and aesthetics were applauded by critics, but soon factors such as delay in shipments, customer data leaks, reports of lackluster sales and camera issues made the device somewhat unpopular.

And recently, a lawsuit has been filed against it by another start-up, Keyssa’s transfer technology, the company backed by the iPod creator and Nest founder Tony Fadell. Keyssa argues that Essential stole its trade secrets.

Somewhere, the sales strategy of Essential is also to be blamed more than the specifications of the phones. Earlier, targeting the competitors, Essential stated, “We could have created a massive TV campaign to capture your attention, but we think making it easier for people to get their hands on our first products is a better way to get to know us.” A massive TV campaign would have helped the company a great deal to pitch their nascent product against the likes of Pixel and Galaxy.

Some could argue that Apple also reduced the price of its first iPhone, but sales numbers of iPhones at the time of the price cut were nearing 1 million units and the price had to be paid up front.