Smartphone maker Essential Products is reported to have acquired email app company CloudMagic, in a move set to boost its messaging software capabilities.
LiveMint stated Essential purchased CloudMagic for an undisclosed sum. The company closed its flagship Newton Mail app several months ago and had struggled to find a lucrative role in a market dominated by free email software offered by giants including Google, Apple and Microsoft.
In October, The Verge reported that Essential had shifted focus to offer a device which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic users and respond to messages on their behalf. Voice control would be a key feature, as part of a vision to free users from the smartphone screen.
But at around the same time, Bloomberg said the device maker had cut around 30 per cent of its staff across various departments, after a follow-up to its first smartphone was shelved and development of a home smart device was “paused”.
While Essential Products is well funded, with top-tier backers including Tencent, Amazon’s Alexa Fund and Foxconn, sales of its first device where somewhat lacklustre as it attempted to enter a premium smartphone market that was already well served by established brands.
Reports from May 2018 said it had appointed Credit Suisse to advise on a potential sale and had interest from at least one party, although as yet this has come to nothing.Subscribe to our daily newsletter