Andy Rubin, one of Android’s founding architects before the platform was purchased by Google back in 2005, might be looking to jump back into the world of smartphones.
Rubin is interested in founding a new company with the goal of developing an Android smartphone, according to recent reports from The Information.
Speculation also indicates Android’s co-creator is currently in the process of recruiting employees for the project. However, it’s unclear if Rubin wants to take on a leadership role in the company or just provide funding for it.
It’s expected Rubin’s hypothetical phone company will be funded through his recently launched startup incubator, Playground Fund, which he founded following his departure from Google last fall. Playground has reportedly raised $300 million since its inception and seems like the logical starting point for a small scale Android manufacturer. In the past, Rubin has invested in artificial intelligence and smart home projects, so heading back into the world of Android is a return to his roots and a departure from his recent endeavours.
If these rumours turn out to be true, it’s likely Rubin will find opportunity in the high-end Android market given the significant number of low and midrange Android devices out there right now (the Nextbit Robin and OnePlus instantly come to mind).
Recent rumours indicate Google could be planning to standardize Android chipsets in an effort to create more consistent performance across Android devices. While a partnership is highly unlikely, Rubin’s project could provide suitable proving ground for this concept.
Rubin left Google’s Android division in March 2013 handing over the helm to Sundar Pichai (who is now the company’s CEO). Prior to leaving Google, Rubin was placed in charge of purchasing various robotic companies for a project loosely tied to Google X.