The much hyped Essential Phone from Android co-founder Andy Rubin will only be available from Sprint. However, potential Essential Phone owners still have the choice which U.S. carrier to use if they purchase from the company website.
According to Essential President Niccolo de Masi, the company chose Sprint because it believes it is the "network of the future." De Masi also stressed that Essential is betting on "where the market is going as opposed to where the market was." Sprint will also be investing its efforts on the Essential brand, something that the company deemed vital.
Despite the accolade Essential is raining on Sprint, the carrier still lags behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile as the top networks in the United States. ARS Technica noted that de Masi and the company believes that Sprint has shown that it can improve on its current number four standing and it is capable of doing so in the near future.
USA Today reported that another factor that led to Sprint being the exclusive U.S. carrier for the Essential Phone is its boss. Eighty-three percent of Sprint is owned by SoftBank whose CEO, Masayoshi Son, is a close friend of Rubin. Additionally, Rubin acts as an advisor to the SoftBank Vision Fund.
Essential's decision to tie-up with Sprint exclusively garnered some detractors as expected. Some believe that the move is too risky and "is a recipe for failure."
Sprint will have working samples of the Essential Phone in its numerous outlets for those curious about it. The carrier will also have people available for those with questions about the Essential Phone.
Aside from Essential's website and Sprint, the Essential Phone will be available in Best Buy. The unlocked Essential phone will cost $699 at the company website. Those who want the accessory 360 camera needs to add $50.