Essential has quietly launched a new product: its long-awaited magnetic headphone jack adapter. And it's crazy expensive.
The company is not exactly on steady ground, thanks in part because its first device, the Essential Phone, wasn't a hit, and more recently, its founder is at the center of a major sexual harassment controversy from his days at Google. Nevertheless, it has released its next product - something it first teased over a year ago. It was expected to ship this past summer, but that didn't happen.
The headphone jack adapter, called the Audio Adapter HD, costs $149, which is about a third of the cost of the Essential Phone. Its price is marked up because it's a magnetic accessory designed specifically for Essential Phone, and it supposedly brings “studio quality" audio performance and an “audiophile-grade" meant to drive "audiophile-grade", according to Essential's press materials for the device.
Audio Adapter HD is here. A limited-edition DAC for Essential Phone, delivering one of the best mobile audio experiences available today.— Essential (@essential) November 13, 2018
Shop now (US & Canada): https://t.co/elFOmC523z pic.twitter.com/eKYyYocm4K
Keep in mind Essential only sold 90,000 units of the Essential Phone in its first six months, has reportedly cancelled the successor, recently laid off a size-able chunk of its employees, and was once considering a sale. However, a report from Bloomberg claimed Essential is trying to develop an AI phone with a Google Duplex-like software that will serve as virtual version of you, responding to messages and making appointments for you.
It's unclear if that device will ever come to fruition. And it's equally unclear if Rubin, the co-founder of Android, is still at Essential.