Andy Rubin is probably not that well known outside ultra-geek circles but he has a shining résumé. In case you’re unaware, Rubin is the creator of the operating system used on countless phones today — Android OS. Andy Rubin sold Android OS to Google back in 2005 and spent many years with Google to develop it into the powerhouse it is today. Rubin left Google a few years ago and has now reemerged to announce his next project. Rubin believes the future is AI (artificial intelligence) and he plans on fusing AI with what he calls the “Essential Phone.”
Essential is the name of Rubin’s new company and they plan on using AI to bring the smartphone and other devices together. The cornerstone of the whole Essential AI project is a bezel-free smartphone that’s basically all screen with a metal frame and ceramic back. This sounds much like the Xiaomi Mi Mix and much like the rumored iPhone 8.
While still in the prototyping stage, Rubin’s phone is aimed at the top of the market where Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Alphabet Inc.’s new Pixel reside. It’s expected to include high-end materials and the ability to gain new hardware features over time, the people said. Representatives for Rubin and Sprint declined to comment.
Rubin is convinced AI is the next big change to ripple through the technology industry. “New computing platforms happen every 10 to 12 years,” he said at the Bloomberg Technology Conference in June. “What’s the next platform?… It’s about data and people training AI systems to learn.”
Like the Mi Mix, the Essential Phone has a larger screen than the iPhone or Pixel but is housed in a similarly sized frame. There’s no word on what operating system this phone will be running, we can only assume Android but that remains to be seen. Andy Rubin plans on releasing this device later this year at a price point of around $649USD. This should be interesting to watch develop and to see if a new operating system is born out of it. Android and iOS are indisputably the top dogs in the mobile OS space, a third choice wouldn’t be a bad thing. If Essential is developing their own OS then their biggest challenge is probably going to be an app ecosystem. We shall see.
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