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The Essential Phone is effectively discontinued

The company is turning its attention to its "next mobile product."
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

An already rough year for smartphone startup Essential appears to be ending on a sour note. Droid Life spotted that the company's flagship Essential Phone, also known as the PH-1, is out of stock and won't be coming back. The company has confirmed the handset won't be restocked, effectively discontinuing the device. Essential says it will instead focus its energy on its next product.

In a statement to 9to5Google, Essential confirmed that it is out of stock of the PH-1 and won't be producing more. "We are sold out of Essential Phone on essential.com and won't be adding any new inventory," a spokesperson for the company said. "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."

The Essential Phone sold out during the holiday season on the company's website and is out of stock in most third-party retail locations thanks in part to some massive price slashes that appear to have amounted to a fire sale. With PH-1 production shut down going forward, that means your options for getting your hands on the device have basically dwindled down to the second-hand market. Current owners of the smartphone will continue to receive updates for the foreseeable future.

While the Essential Phone proved to be a pretty well-liked device when it first launched and had creative direction provided by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, the device never managed to take off. Even after expanding into new markets, Essential's sales underwhelmed and resulted in layoffs and rumors that the company would be sold. While the company says it is working on its next mobile product, it's not clear what that will be or when it will arrive. The planned second generation of the Essential Phone was canceled earlier this year.

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