No one is probably going to argue over a change that makes a premium product very much affordable. But depending on when the price cut takes place, it could, instead, raise concerns. The Essential PH-1, the first and so far only smartphone from Andy Rubin’s startup, is barely three months in the market. But as of today, the smartphone that was pitting itself against the likes of Samsung, Apple, and maybe even Google itself, is $200 cheaper. That means that the Essential phone is now almost half the price of this year’s top models.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the still to be shipped iPhone X easily hit the $1,000 mark. Most of this year’s high-end flagships dance around the $700-$800 range. The Google Pixel 2 starts at $649 for the lowest and smallest model all the way up to $949 for the Pixel 2 XL.
The Essential PH-1 itself was, before today, marked at $699, which really is on par with everything else. So when Essential decided to bring the price down to a sweet $499, you can’t really help but wonder if it’s too good to be true. After all, there are reports that the hyped epitome of what an Android phone should be isn’t as selling as well as many, including Essential, hoped.
Essential, however, might simply be going for some aggressive marketing, perhaps prompted by those sales numbers as well. Without the resources of Samsung, Apple, and Google, it has to resort to more grassroots level campaigns, like word of mouth, to help the smartphone along. This is not different from the strategy still used by OnePlus to make its premium smartphones more alluring.
But what about those that already paid the full $699? Essential fortunately isn’t going to screw early birds for the sake of trying to sell more phones. Those who already bought an Essential PH-1 will get a $200 credit for any Essential accessory or, maybe, a new Essential phone even.