Less than three years after raising money at a valuation of up to $1bn, Essential is shutting down after low sales of its alternative Android smartphone.

Essential Products, a US-based smartphone maker backed by corporate investors Amazon, Access Industries, Foxconn and Tencent, announced yesterday it is ceasing operations. Founded in 2015, Essential released its first product, a smartphone called PH-1, two years later. It was designed to run Android, the operating system co-created by chief executive Andy Rubin before it was…

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