Andy Rubin, the father of Android, plans to launch a bezel-less phone to take on the iPhone and Google Pixel

Andy Rubin, the father of Android, plans to launch a bezel-less phone to take on the iPhone and Google Pixel
About four years after stepping down from leading Google's Android team, and two years after leaving Google for good, Andy Rubin is now getting ready to launch his own high-end smartphone. According to Bloomberg, this smartphone will be released by Essential Products Inc., a new company that Rubin intends to officially announce soon. The report seems to be partially confirming a previous rumor about Andy Rubin and his smartphone plans.

For now, Essential is a small company employing about 40 people, some of whom had previously worked at Google, Apple, or Samsung. Serving as the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Essential, Andy Rubin reportedly visited CES 2017 earlier this month to talk about his new smartphone with US carriers, including Sprint.

Bloomberg has it that the upcoming Essential phone should feature an edge-to-edge display and high-end materials, being aimed at competing with top of the line handsets like Apple's iPhone, Google's Pixel, and Samsung's Galaxy flagships. Allegedly, at least one prototype sports a screen larger than 5.5 inches, while overall being smaller than an iPhone 7 Plus, since it "lacks" bezels. Essential is testing various levels of pressure sensitivity for the screen, perhaps for functionality akin to Apple's 3D Touch. Also in testing are metal edges (for the whole phone) and a ceramic-made back.

Another interesting thing about this high-end Essential handset is that it's supposed to support add-on accessories - in the same way that Motorola's Moto Z family supports Moto Mods. Bloomberg notes that Essential is trying to develop a proprietary port that should be used for charging, as well as for connecting to add-ons. One of these add-ons could be a 360-degree camera.

The first Essential smartphone might be released as soon as the middle of 2017. Bloomberg says that the handset could cost about as much as an iPhone 7, though nothing has been decided yet. The handset may be manufactured by Foxconn, which also builds iPhones for Apple. For now, it's not clear if the device has anything to do with Android. In any case, last year, Andy Rubin talked about new computing platforms, mentioning that the next one should be "about data and people training AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems to learn." With Rubin's experience and know-how, we might very well see a brand new operating system debuting with the upcoming Essential phone.

Regarded by many as the father of Android, Andy Rubin co-founded Android Inc. and started developing Android in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, Google bought Android, hiring Rubin to oversee what was to become the world's most popular mobile OS. Now, it appears that Andy Rubin is ready do to his own thing when it comes to smartphones, and we're genuinely looking forward to seeing what will come out of this. 

Andy Rubin photo courtesy of Playground, a startup incubator founded by Rubin.

source: Bloomberg

Story timeline



1. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

"May not run Android " *Exits article *

2. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

To me that's the most intriguing part. Player 3.

32. sgodsell

Posts: 7467; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Andy could be using the new Andromeda OS, which can still run Android apps. Not to mention Chrome as well.

34. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

+10. I won't be jumping off this Android ship anytime soon but equally I won't deny that we do need a 3rd disruptor. Shortcut:- Talk to Canonical and assess what could be done with Ubuntu Touch. Hard way:- Fork the sh1t out off droid and establish an own base. Also I kinda agree with Unordinary. "Bezelless" as the be all end all admittedly sounds rather trivial to sum the bigger picture for the hardware.

17. Unordinary unregistered

Even if it does, the general public doesn't care about a bezeless phone. Look at what's happening with that new phone that came out - not selling for sh*t. The smartphone market has already been established. Samsung Apple and soon to be Google, own the market. Other vendors would be happy to sell 5% of what these companies push each year.

22. Rishi17

Posts: 98; Member since: Sep 22, 2016

Tell that to Nokia & Blackberry.

38. Unordinary unregistered

Nokia and Blackberry smartphones. HA

30. Skizzo

Posts: 403; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

The part that had me shaking my head was "Essential is trying to develop a proprietary port that should be used for charging, as well as for connecting to add-ons." Don't be stupid guys, proprietary anything sucks, especially chargers/charging ports, and only sounds like a cash grab. I hope it's not true.

3. Joosty

Posts: 485; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

It has to run Android. No other OS out there lol. All the other OS have failed due to eco system development.

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

The only other OS out there is Windows Phone.

7. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

iOS failed due to eco system development?

11. Joosty

Posts: 485; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

Sorry I didn't clarify, all other OS (windows, Sailfish , Symbian, Palm) There are only two OS that matter. Which is a damn shame. There should be at least one more.

13. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Andy Rubin is a brilliant guy, if anyone can pull off developing a third major mobile OS, it's him. Then again Samsung, even with all their brain power and financial resources, hasn't been able to get Tizen up and running in any meaningful way, so perhaps he won't have an easy go at it.

37. Tipus

Posts: 895; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

You just can't leave samsung out of this, don't you? LOL

14. Subie

Posts: 2398; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

You mean there are only two OS's that matter to you. Windows Mobile still matters to those who choose to buy it - regardless of the small segment of the population they are in. The same goes for Tizen too.

8. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Android doesn't have a very good ecosystem if you want to be honest. You mean app support I think.

18. Penny

Posts: 1862; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

It's easy to blame it on the ecosystem, but unfortunately it's even worse than that. Others failed because even with good offerings, they failed to gain traction. Too many people still wanted to get Android and iOS because too many of their friends had Android or iOS, and thus the circular path went. If anybody new wanted to enter the market, they better enter at a time when a great number of people are getting bored with the current offerings and their offering can become the next trend. That's the only way to climb the wall; the barrier to entry is too high otherwise.

4. j_grouchy

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 08, 2016

A lot of "could"s and "testing"s...sounds a bit like vaporware.

5. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Bezel less phone is a good way to maximise profit. Phone break easily thats way.

9. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

The father of Android is iOS.

10. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Android started 4 years before the iphone/iphone OS isheep...

16. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

It started as some sort of an OS to compete with BB. But iOS is the OS that started what we see today.

23. iushnt

Posts: 3128; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Apple never comes out of your mind, isn't it?

24. Rishi17

Posts: 98; Member since: Sep 22, 2016

Yeah right!, Maybe that explains the reason why every iOS iteration comes with the "New Features" that are already present in Android for long time. Even Steve Jobs would have laughed after reading your comment.

27. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Are you retarded? Go google and compare the date of birth about Android and iOS. You're totally kiddo, iKiddo.

12. Punchy506

Posts: 129; Member since: Jan 10, 2016

Maybe I'll pick up one of these on fire sale after it flops.

15. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

So they want to make a new kind of iPhone, that may or may not run Android???? That is going to be hard to do, if it runs android it will have to a down right amazing phone and if it runs a custom OS then said OS would have to be at least as good as iOS or Android, preferably better in some way. Launching with an iPhone 7 price tag could easily make this phone DOA! If it doesn't deserve such a price.

19. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

"Allegedly, at least one prototype sports a screen larger than 5.5 inches, while overall being smaller than an iPhone 7 Plus, since it "lacks" bezels. " The Nexus 6p is virtually identical in size to the iPhone 6s Plus but with a 5.7" screen, and it doesn't lack bezels, so the screen on this better be 5.9"+ to make a difference.

20. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3158; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Rubin may be the father of Android but he raised a petulant child until the Godfather of Android (Matias Duarte) stepped in and injected some webOS goodness starting with Honeycomb and ICS. Anybody who can say with a straight face that Android would be what it is today while continuing the path of FroYo and Gingerbread needs some strong anti-psychotic medicine.

25. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1442; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Honeycomb was absolutely terrible though, I think it was the least stable Android release to date. ICS was a significant improvement and continued what Duarte started in Honeycomb, polishing the user-friendliness and interface design. The introduction of ART(Android Runtime) offered performance improvements and battery-efficiency over the outdated Dalvik, which I find was a much more important improvement.

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