Many of the former Essential Phone employees are now part of a new startup called, “OSOM” aka “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”
Similar to how it was with Essential, OSOM has plans to build its own Android hardware and software, however this time it will be more focused on privacy. The company has secured over $5.6 million in funding and plans to launch seven or eight products over the next three years; the first one arriving in 2021.
History Of Essential
For those who don’t know, Essential was a smartphone company founded by Andy Rubin, who also co-founded the Android operating system.
Their only Android device, Essential PH-1, gained a lot of traction for several reasons such as being developed by the father of Android, the only Android smartphone which received Android updates the same day as Pixel, first to introduce a notch in the market, sleek and bezel-less design and more.
However, the success of Essential was short-lived. Back in March, the company decided to close its doors mainly due to financial instability. The multiple sexual assault allegations against Andy Rubin also rubbed off strongly on the company.
Now, the team behind Essential is coming up with a new Android project that will largely focus on privacy.
OSOM wants to become “the No. 1 tech brand associated with privacy in the world. Period.” But that doesn’t mean its products will be super secure or claim to be unhackable. Instead, OSOM plans to give users more control over their data, including having say over what’s shared with third-party apps,” Jason Keats, OSOM founder, and the “first hire” at Essential told CNET.
Keats claims that OSOM won’t collect any analytical data without the user’s permission. He also said that if a device’s camera or GPS is turned off, “OSOM’s software will ensure that it doesn’t turn itself back on.” Moreover, the potential users will be given easy to use settings to secure their data.
OSOM plans to sell its hardware first in the US, Europe, and Asia. As for the price, it appears the company will be taking the OnePlus approach, selling premium hardware at “accepted prices.”
It would be interesting to see how OSOM will manage to create a space for itself in the highly competitive smartphone industry, especially when Andy Rubin isn’t associated with the project.