The departure of Wallace, who is set to become the new chief of marketing for Will.I.Am’s lifestyle tech venture i.am+, has raised further red flags about the company’s fortunes.
At the time of its initial reveal, Android creator Andy Rubin promised that Essential’s first smartphone would be in the hands of customers within thirty days.
Forty-seven days have now passed, with customers who pre-ordered still yet to receive their phones or receive any concrete update on why the smartphone was delayed.
Announced in May, the Essential Smartphone features an edge-to-edge screen, a titanium-and-ceramic case and dual cameras.
This latest development is sure to add further fuel to the fire for tech critics looking for confirmation that the phone’s delay represents more than just a minor production hiccup.
The Verge‘s Nick Statt previously observed that “a missed deadline is not that big of a deal, especially not for a device from that didn’t publicly exist until just 40 days ago (and from a startup, and not a big-name manufacturer, no less).”
“But Essential’s silence is more worrisome, as it suggests the problem may be more complicated then a simply manufacturing delay.”
In the US, the phone is being carried by telco Sprint while an unlocked version is being sold through Essential directly.
Speaking to Business Insider, a Sprint spokesperson was unable to shed any light on the delays beyond confirming that the handset was due for release sometime in 2017.
Australian availability and/or pricing is still unknown at this time. However, a strong launch in the States would likely see the upstart brand quickly expand to international markets.