At the end of May, Andy Rubin let everyone know that the Essential Phone would begin shipping within a month, though delays soon pushed the release date into August. Then on August 16, Essential announced that it would start shipping devices within the next week. Finally, on August 26, the Phone began shipping to pre-orderers, though only the Black Moon models began shipping at that time.
Over the past couple days, folks who pre-ordered the Essential Phone have been receiving their new devices in the mail, only to discover a detail that’s a little disappointing to buyers of the $700 handset. You see, part of the draw to the Essential Phone is the fact that the company says it’s compatible with all four major U.S. carriers. It says so on the website right here. What the website doesn’t say, however, is that the Phone isn’t certified with Verizon yet.
If you ordered an Essential Phone, you’ll likely receive an email with this note:
Essential Phone is ready to operate on Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Certification with Verizon, however, is not yet complete, though will be soon. If you wish to be notified about Verizon certification, please sign up here.
I get why some users are upset about this. You expect to buy a phone, pop in your SIM card, and be on your way without any hassle. Things are a little more complicated here, though it isn’t as bad as it seems.
If you’re a current Verizon customer and planned on using the Essential Phone with your current Verizon SIM card, you should be in the clear
If you’re a current Verizon customer and planned on using the Essential Phone with your current Verizon SIM card, you should be in the clear. Pop your SIM card into your new phone and everything should work as planned. However, if you want to use the Phone on Verizon and don’t own a Verizon SIM or are a new Verizon customer, you might run into some trouble. If that’s the case, we’d suggest calling Verizon’s customer service and seeing if they can help you get your device activated.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint users, good news — your phone should work just fine.
Verizon unfortunately can’t say for sure when certification will be complete, but once it does, we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as possible. We’ve also reached out to Essential about this issue but have yet to receive a reply.
More delays = more unhappy customers
So why is Essential shipping out phones to pre-orderers if it’s not completely certified yet? Well, we don’t have an exact answer for you, though it probably has to do with Essential not wanting to delay the phone any longer. More delays = more unhappy customers.
Again, this won’t be a huge deal for many Essential Phone buyers, though it will be a bit of a headache for new Verizon customers.