Essential's investors include Amazon, release date for phone being announced next week

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It was almost three weeks ago when Andy Rubin attributed the phone's delay to getting it certified with mobile carriers. Although we still have no idea when the phone will launch (Essential has now very much overshot its "end of the month" June prediction), Essential president Niccolo de Masi says, "I will give you an exact date in a week".

It turns out that the Amazon Alexa Fund and China-based Tencent Holdings have contributed the $300 million package. Earlier in June, we reported that Essential had received a $300 investment, putting its value at nearly $1 billion. In addition to revealing its investors, Essential also announced where the phone will be available to purchase. Since this delay, the company has not provided a timeline on when to expect the phone to be available to consumers, but promises to do so next week. The handset missed its initial shipping window but Rubin later announced that the phone would arrive within a few weeks.

Andy Rubin and his company clearly want to disrupt the duopolistic United States smartphone market, which is now dominated by two companies: Apple and Samsung. All three images highlight the titanium frame and ceramic body in various machining stages.

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Despite executive departures, Essential faces an uphill battle in an already-crowded USA smartphone market already dominated by Apple and Samsung. However, with Sprint as an exclusive partner in the U.S. and Telus in Canada, Essential may not have such a far-reaching impact - at least not this time around.

If you've been tiring of the wait for the Android co-founder's debut phone, it seems like your patience is about to be rewarded.

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