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Essential promises a new phone release date 'in a week'

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US retail partners include Best Buy and Amazon

Essential Phone Photo by Asa Mathat / Recode

It’s been a few weeks since Essential CEO Andy Rubin told us that the Essential Phone would be coming “in a few weeks,” but today the company gave yet another (albeit slightly more specific) timeline, saying it would reveal the release date “in a week.” That’s nearly two months after the company initially said that the phone would begin shipping some time in June.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Essential president Niccolo De Masi also confirmed that the $699 Android device with an edge-to-edge display would be available via major US retailers Best Buy and Amazon. The Essential is expected to launch as a Sprint exclusive, with Telus as its Canada partner and more international carriers to be announced at a later date.

“If we are able to sell low single digit millions [in the first year], that’s very successful for a startup,” De Masi optimistically told WSJ. The Essential’s launch, if it indeed arrives within the month, puts it at an inopportune time before Apple and Google’s announcements for the upcoming iPhone 8 and Pixel 2, respectively, which have historically taken place in September and October.

De Masi did not provide further details on the release of the Essential Home, the company’s “privacy-first” Amazon Echo competitor that will have its own smart assistant OS.

Update August 9th, 3:40PM ET: This article has been updated to add Andy Rubin’s tweet on “full mass production.”