Just over a year ago, a report surfaced suggesting former Android king Andy Rubin was considering re-entering the phone business. The report talked about Rubin assembling a team to potentially build out a new company, yet there has been almost zero follow-up since. Today, Bloomberg is reporting that things are very serious on the Andy Rubin smartphone front and we may see a phone (as well as other products) as early as this year.
According to this report, Rubin’s new company is called Essential and is made up of roughly 40 people, many of which have been brought in from Apple and Google. Essential will attempt to compete in the top tier smartphone segment, but the goal is to create a whole ecosystem of devices that all play well together (think both mobile and smart home stuff).
Rubin apparently spoke with wireless carrier execs at CES last week about a high-end phone that Essential is working on, one that will have an edge-to-edge display without bezel (likely larger than 5.5-inches), along with other premium materials (like a ceramic back). The device may be modular on some level as well, meaning you could attach other hardware to it to expand functionality. One example would be an attachment for a 360-degree camera. The connector for this additional hardware may also serve as the charging connector.
One thing we do not know is what the software is. Today’s report could not confirm if it’s Android or something else, but with former Googlers supposedly running the software side, Android as the base wouldn’t be surprising.
This new phone could launch as early as the middle of this year for your typical flagship phone price.
Exciting news? Do you even know who Andy Rubin is? (I’m kidding…mostly.)