A new Essential Phone 2 is reportedly in development. A successor to a phone designed for the budget-conscious may very well be in the works, but it won’t be sold alongside its predecessor, as production of the original Essential Phone has halted.
The team behind the Essential Phone have hinted that they may be working on a new Essential Phone 2. Sources close to the company told Bloomberg that they are working on a device with a heavily integrated AI. This device could allow users to issue voice commands for correspondence and basic functionality without having to make use of manual controls. There are certainly plenty of challenges to overcome with such a system (goodness knows I’ve shouted at my Android for messing up a word or two over the years), but the backing of one of Android’s original creators and hundreds of millions in venture capital cash makes this potential device an interesting prospect.
The people who bought the original phone shouldn’t be too ticked off about a new Essential Phone 2. The company released a statement to The Verge where they detail their future plans:
“We are sold out of Essential Phone on essential.com and won’t be adding any new inventory. We are now hard at work on our next mobile product and will continue to sell accessories and provide speedy software updates and customer support to our existing community.”
Thankfully, it seems that current owners won’t be left out in the cold. Although there won’t be any more Essential Phones produced, the existing user base should expect continued software support for the foreseeable future.
It should be noted that the company doesn’t explicitly specify that it’s working on a new Essential Phone 2. Company plans been shifting over the years, including shelving plans for a different phone as well as a home speaker device. The Essential Phone may have failed to capture the public’s imagination, but a mobile device with better AI than Siri or her competitors could prove to be a real game-changer.