Essential phone to be carrier exclusive with Sprint in US

Alyssa Bailey
June 13, 2017

That being said, Sprint is going all-in with its promotion of the device and doing its best to make it sound like there's really no other option but to switch to its network. "And that's the ideal time to start a company with this".

Essential recently closed a $300 million funding round, valuing the start-up at $900 million to $1 billion. This alone has created a lot of hype around the smartphone. Sprint does it too and they're doing it again as the exclusive carrier partner for the Essential Phone.

Essential President, Niccolo de Masi confirmed to USA Today Sunday that Sprint will have sole compatibility over the smartphone and its special features, including HD voice and built-in video calling. Essential's CEO states that most of the phones sold in the US are purchased at retail stores, which lines up with market estimates and makes sense given the customer has a chance to touch and feel the phone before buying. OpenSignal continues to rate Sprint as the worst network compared to rivals.

It's worth noting that Rubin has various ties to Sprint. Since the Essential Phone is equipped with a plethora of built-in radios, it is still compatible with any of the major carriers. Rubin serves an advisor to the SoftBank Vision Fund, the investment fund for the Japanese internet conglomerate. But this isn't "exclusive", because the Essential Phone has enough radios to work across multiple networks.

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As far as we can tell, this is the "stand-out" product from Essential, not Essential Phone. That was likely because Sprint will be the only carrier to offer the phone in full support.

We like to bet with where we think the market is going as opposed to where the market was. The phone itself can be bought directly from Essential for $699.

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Here's everything you need to know about the device. The device is expected to be sold in Best Buy outlets as well. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple.

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