While the Essential Phone began shipping to those who pre-ordered directly last month, Andy Rubin’s new device only arrived at Sprint in mid-September. As the exclusive US partner, the Essential Phone has “very prominent” placement at the carrier locations. However, despite this advertising, one research firm estimates that only 5,000 Essential Phones have been sold by Sprint.

BayStreet Research (via FierceWireless) tracks smartphone sales data and estimated that less than 5,000 units were sold by the carrier in the US. The firm told us that its figures cover a time range from launch at Sprint on September 14th to yesterday and includes “units across all Sprint channels.”

Of course, these numbers don’t take into account units that were purchased directly from Essential, nor international sales from Canadian partner Telus. Essential’s audience was always going to be limited to enthusiasts who undoubtedly have ordered directly rather than go through a third-party.

Sales have likely been further hampered by how unrecognized Essential is by average consumers. The prominent placement, advertising, and physical availability was intended to help remedy this problem, but it does not yet appear to be working for the general public.

In our review of the Essential Phone, we noted how it offered Android’s best hardware, save for the subpar camera. While the latter can be addressed via software, it still does not result in a good first impression for those walking in stores.


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