The Essential Phone found success only after various fire sales and price cuts that made the device a true bargain. It comes as the company reportedly canceled development of its second phone in May and paused its smart home product. A new report today reveals that the Andy Rubin company is cutting 30% of its staff.

Bloomberg today reported on the cuts to staff, with an email from Essential confirming the change. The majority of layoffs are apparently in the hardware and sales division. The latter comes as development of its second-generation phone stopped in May, while recent weeks suggest that the same fate befell its Home product meant to compete with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Of note, an Essential spokesperson confirmed the “difficult decision” and notes how a “sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product.”

“This has been a difficult decision to make. We are very sorry for the impact on our colleagues who are leaving the company and are doing everything we can to help them with their future careers.”

“We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product.”

Just last week, a report pegged Essential as working on a new phone with AI features that is able to respond to texts, email, and can book appointments on a user’s behalf. The goal is to “free users” from common tasks, with the device featuring a smaller screen and heavy reliance on voice commands.

In recent months, Essential has been offering an excellent software experience for the PH-1, frequently delivering monthly security patches just hours after Google. It was the first vendor to offer an Android Pie update and promises Android Q sometime next year.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com