We now have a brand new contender within the smartphone house. “Important” is a brand new OEM that got here seemingly out of nowhere, introduced by Andy Rubin a mere 9 months in the past. Rubin is the co-founder and former CEO of Android Inc., just a little firm that was snatched up by Google in 2005 and went on to construct the world’s hottest working system. Rubin left Google, and Important is his new startup with ambitions within the smartphone and good house markets. Amazon, Tencent, and Foxconn have already invested in Important, and the most recent spherical of funding values the corporate at greater than a billion —and this was earlier than it even shipped a product.

With the launch of the “Important Telephone,” we lastly have that first product: a high-end, $700 smartphone operating the working system Rubin helped create. The cellphone kind of leaves Android alone, and, with the backing of producer Foxconn, a lot of the innovation right here is within the .

And boy is that this a unique-looking piece of . It is made out of titanium and ceramic, and the Important Telephone takes the courageous and attention-grabbing design selection to chop a bit of the display screen away to make room for the front-facing digicam. It additionally brings us one more modular system, which initially has a 360-degree digicam as the one accent. Nothing else on the market fairly seems to be or feels just like the Important Telephone.

Important’s dangerous first impression

Whereas this can be a new product from a brand new firm, Andy Rubin’s monitor report with Android lends Important an air of credibility instantly. There are nonetheless a ton of questions on the corporate, although. What is going to assist be like? Will updates come shortly or by no means?

For Important, effectively, issues are off to a rocky begin. On the Code Convention on Could 30, Rubin mentioned the Important Telephone would ship in “30 days or so.” The corporate not solely missed this deadline however wasn’t even shut. The precise first ship date for some telephones, August 25, was 148 days from Rubin’s interview. The transport interval was chaos, too, with prospects reporting missed transport deadlines, playing cards being charged with out shipments, and problem contacting customer support.

When it lastly got here time to ship telephones, Important despatched out a weird e-mail to some customers asking for photos of their driver’s licenses or passports with a view to obtain the cellphone. Sending private data over e-mail is rarely a good suggestion, however Important made issues a lot worse when it unintentionally CC’ed a number of different prospects within the ID request e-mail. Prospects responded to the e-mail with pictures of their ID playing cards, which despatched their private knowledge out to different random prospects within the CC discipline.

In a weblog submit on Important’s website, Andy Rubin described the difficulty: “We made an error in our buyer care operate that resulted in private data from roughly 70 prospects being shared with a small group of different prospects.” He apologized for the information leak, calling the incident “humiliating.”

This was all a actually dangerous first impression for Important, and it ought to give any potential prospects pause. Can the cellphone itself ease a few of that dangerous style in prospects’ mouths?

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