The Essential phone has been touted as being a rather unconventional phone in terms of innovation, and this unconventional streak will also be moving onto the phone’s other features as well, such as availability. Andy Rubin’s phone, will now be made available exclusively through Sprint according to reports.
While other carriers have proposed measures to support the phone, it was not clear up to what extent. Sprint has taken up the mantle of being the exclusive provider of the Essential phone in a special partnership. The carrier will be providing full support for the phone in terms of sales and service. This is a good move by Essential since it provides brick and mortar options as well as an existing connection of numerous Sprint stores across the country for access and purchase. Starting out the Essential’s run on this kind of a note will hopefully make for a better sales pattern across the board as the initial interest of the phone will be directly comparable to the availability. When OnePlus launched with its One, there was much interest in the phone, but since the phone was not tied to any exclusive partnership, it was not made to be as accessible as would have been desired.
CNet reports that just because the phone will be available through Sprint, it won’t only support Sprint carrier services since users will also be able to buy the phone completely unlocked from Essential directly, which will cost about $700. Sprint has not yet released a pricing strategy regarding the cost of its version of the Essential phone. It can be expected that the difference between the one offered from Sprint and Essential will be the usual suspects of extra apps accumulating the internal phone storage and the Sprint branding outside, both of which will probably be absent on the Essential store version.
On why Essential chose to partner with Sprint to become the exclusive carrier to market the phone, The Verge reports that President of Essential stated that Sprint was the network of the future, but the unsubstantial answer is not all that simple. He also pointed out that Andy Rubin was close to SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son who own 83% of Sprint and Rubin serves as an advisor to the SoftBank Vision Fund. This would serve as the better reason for why Essential have taken this route.
The phone looks promising and the only way its success can be determined now is how it is being marketed.