Consumers expected something different and impressive when Android’s co-creator Andy Rubin revealed in May that his new startup would launch a slick premium smartphone. On August 25, after months of delay post the much-hyped launch, the company finally released the Essential Phone PH-1. However, consumers were not pleased with the final offering, and the device was plagued by many issues such as the Wi-Fi disabling the cellular antennae. This impacted the device’s sales. Now, after just two months since its release, the PhoneArena report’s that Essential has slashed the handset’s price by $200.

Essential Phone gets cheaper by $200

The company announced through a blog post on Friday, October 20, that it would be offering the handset at a lower price instead of $699. Those who want to purchase the device will need to shell out $499 instead. However, this is not all, as the company is also offering a $200 friends and family code to those who already own an Essential smartphone. This code can be used to purchase either an Essential 360 Camera or another unit of the handset. However, the company is not offering any cashback.

Low demand fueled price cut?

The significant price cut so early after launch indicates that the PH-1 has failed to captivate consumers. A report in September claimed that Essential managed to sell just 5,000 units of the handset in the US.

Until October, only the black model of the smartphone was available for purchase. Those who had registered for the white version of the device were still waiting for its arrival. This delay and lack of color option also affected the smartphone’s sales. Essential is slated to release two more color options for the device, but it is not known when these hues would become available.

Post-release, the sleek design of the Essential phone garnered plenty of praise. The company managed to eliminate most of the bezels surrounding the display, without making the handset look awkward. However, consumers were critical of the device’s software, primarily the camera app. Since then, Essential has managed to sort some of the issues through software updates.

However, the lackluster performance of the PH-1 in the hotly-contested tech space would ring alarm bells for the company. The latest price cut affirms that the device is unable to carve a place for itself in the tech market. Therefore, to lure buyers, Essential is decreasing the device’s price.