One likely reason is that carriers don't seem to be interested in new phones, and mostly stock their shelves with the latest devices from established players such as Samsung, Apple and LG.
Essential will still sell its new Android smartphone, unlocked and without carrier contract for $699. If purchased unlocked, the phone will work on all U.S. carriers.
The U.S. wireless landscape is particularly difficult for new entrants to tap into. Lenovo, for example, bought Motorola Mobility in large part because it already had relationships with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint.
Newcomers such as Huawei, OnePlus and others have had to seek new methods to sell phones, whether through retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon or direct-to-consumer. HTC, once a major smartphone maker in the U.S., was only able to secure Sprint to sell its latest U11 flagship smartphone.