Android creator Andy Rubin, who left Google in 2014 to start an incubator for hardware startups, is planning to make his comeback with a high-end smartphone to challenge current technology flagships from Google and Apple's display.
Rubin will use his experience in developing the Android OS to produce a phone that takes artificial intelligence (AI) a notch higher than what current technology on phones possess. Google, Rubin's former employer, was in the limelight last year for unveiling the Google Assistant, an AI platform that has a two way communication mechanism. Rubin may attempt to top that.
Rubin plans to make this phone under a new company called Essential, which he plans to head as CEO. He will have a 40-person team, consisting of many recruits from Apple and Alphabet's Google. The company will focus on a suite of consumer hardware products on the lines of mobile and smart home market products. Rubin has already registered the company as Essential Products Inc with California regulators in November 2015 and the US Patent and Trademark Office last year.
As for the phone design, he will capitalise on a Xiaomi Mi Mix-like trend to produce an edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel. The tech entrepreneur has in fact already had discussions at the recently held CES in Las Vegas with mobile carrier executives regarding the venture.
The company's engineers are reportedly developing a connector that will double as a charging source and expanding the phone's functionality over time. The magnetic connector will also allow Essential or even third parties to create hardware accessories that can provide add-on features to the smartphone.
The phone may be ready to be unveiled by the middle of 2017 and is likely to be priced close to the iPhone 7 says Bloomberg.