One of the biggest challenges for a hardware startup is to actually create a finished product. But another is delivering the product to the customers that paid for them. It's a common problem. And based on the recent frustrations of people who ordered Andy Rubin's super hyped new phone, Essential Products is running into some trouble with the second part of that equation.
Image: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo
Apparently, it's pretty quiet down in Essential town.
On August 16, after months of delays, the company finally started telling some early customers who had pre-registered to purchase the device that their phones had been built, and that they would be shipped within seven days after payment. But posts on Reddit and Twitter reveal that the company hasn't delivered on its promises.
It is. Another missed milestone? Unbelievable!!! If I don't get a shipping notice today I'm writing off #essentialphone
— rootdude (@rootdude) August 23, 2017
@essential Where or where has my little phone gone, promised me over a week ago? Is Essential Phone running a con or is the phone gonna show
— LeadingOrderSolution (@LeadingOrderSol) August 24, 2017
Day 9 after paying for the Essential Phone and still has not shipped but you took my money twice, once for the phone and once for the camera
— Charles Gallagher (@CDGallagher) August 25, 2017
That news comes despite multiple customers saying that their credit cards have been charged, and that shipments were supposed to go out within 24 to 48 hours. When we reached out to the company directly for comment, a spokesperson insisted that phones were already being sent out. We followed up and pointed to the many people complaining about delayed shipment, and we haven't heard back.
— rootdude (@rootdude) August 24, 2017
In fact, upon scanning Twitter and Reddit, we haven't been able to identify a single person who isn't a member of the press who has actually gotten their device. Not a single celebratory photo or enthusiastic tweet. Is it possible some phones are out there as Essential claims? Of course, but we haven't seen them.
On Amazon and Best Buy, the Essential Phone is still listed as a pre-order, with shipments scheduled for September 1 and September 8, respectively. It seems that unless you were in the earliest batch of people to register to purchase the phone, you could be waiting a long, long time.
Now, you could just chalk all this up to a new company struggling to get products out the door, but that isn't much of a consolation to buyers waiting for a phone that has already been heavily delayed. Then you add in the issues we encountered with the PH-1's camera, and now you're wondering if Essential really has its act together.