Sprint has officially announced that it has landed a deal to exclusively sell the Essential Phone in the United States mobile market. The Essential Phone is the first smartphone offering ever from Essential, the company started by Andy Rubin, the founder of Android. The device is expected by many to be launched some time in summer of this year.
Despite the fact that an exclusive deal with Sprint will mean having the device made available at the major US wireless carrier’s retail outlets, as well as via Sprint’s online and telemarketing channels and at Best Buy, the Essential Phone technically will also be sold unlocked, especially for mobile users who wish to use it on other wireless service providers.
It was around a couple of weeks ago when Rubin first formally introduced the Essential Phone. The unveiling of the device also marks the first project completed by the Android founder since deciding to leave Google about three years ago. Basically, the Essential Phone is Rubin’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Google’s Pixel devices. Apart from competing pricing wise (the handset comes with a price of $700), the Essential Phone is expected to give Samsung’s and Google’s Android flagships a run for their money in terms of specifications. Indeed, the Essential Phone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip set, 128 gigabytes of built in memory, and 360 degree camera (capable of shooting spherical UHD photos at 30 frames per second) are certainly not bad.
Among the Big Four carriers in America, Sprint is currently ranked fourth behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile. But by landing the exclusive deal to sell the Essential Phone, Sprint gets to offer something that its rivals don’t, and that just might help the company further narrow the competitive gap.
As for Essential, having a major US wireless carrier like Sprint as partner will definitely boost its chances of selling its flagship handset, by having the device seen in every Sprint retail store and online. And as pointed out by Cliff Maldonado of BayStreet Research, Sprint happens to sell more postpaid Android phones than AT&T (the second biggest wireless carrier in the US). Moreover, Sprint is the number three biggest postpaid Android carrier in America. Verizon Wireless may have landed the exclusive deal with Google’s Pixel, but Sprint is in a good position to counter with the Essential Phone.
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