Android co-founder Andy Rubin is rumored to be interested in building a smartphone that uses the operating system he helped create. Whether he heads up a new company to do this, or provides one with support through his own startup incubator, isn’t known, according to a report by The Information.
How has all this come about? First, some background. Rubin co-founded Android, then sold the rights to Google and subsequently joined the company itself. This lasted until 2013, when he decided to leave and the Android reigns were handed over to Sundar Pichai. Since then, one of his most prominent business ventures has been Playground, an incubator that has apparently raised at least $300 million.
It’s through Playground the new company may come to life. It’s rumored Rubin wants to return to the Android world, just outside Google this time, and perhaps make a smartphone running the OS. Staff for the project have apparently been scouted, although there is no confirmation a company has been started either with Rubin at its head, or behind it.
Android has the largest market share globally of any smartphone operating system, and there are plenty of newcomers joining each day, but there are also many manufacturers — both large and small — making devices. Regardless of his background, Rubin and any company he backs faces a considerable challenge, should the venture go ahead. It’s interesting to note The Information states Rubin has been “trying to start” an Android phone company, suggesting he hasn’t had much success putting together the right components so far.
However, the prospect of an Android phone made (or at least brought to life) by the man who gave us Android itself is intriguing. At the moment though, there’s no actual evidence Rubin is actively trying to develop an Android phone, or to back a company to do it for him. We’ll keep you updated with any news.