Essential’s $700 price tag aims to present more “Pro-consumer” profit margins than competitors like Apple and Samsung, De Masi said.

“We’re not pricing ourselves at two or three times the cost of materials,” De Masi said.

De Masi doesn’t think that Asian brands like Xiaomi will expand as “Love brands” in the U.S., despite their cheaper prices.

Even if Essential used foreign suppliers, prototyping in Silicon Valley keeps Essential at the bleeding edge of innovation, De Masi said.

“T is room in the market, in the Western world, for another, what I call, ‘love brand,'” De Masi said.

De Masi said that the manufacturing process has become easy enough that creating nimble, beautiful phones is now easier and cheaper.

Despite his criticism of other cookie-cutter phones, De Masi said that Essential’s modular phones will not enable options like changing the color of chassis because they are not “Meaningful innovation.”

Essential Phone