Andy Rubin eyes return to Android

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Andy Rubin, one of Android’s co-founders, might be returning to the very industry that he helped shape years ago. Amir Efrati of The Information is reporting that Rubin is itching to return to the mobile industry after being absent for nearly three years and has already started to recruit employees for a new hardware manufacturer.

Once Google acquired Android Inc. in 2005 and turned it into its own mobile platform, Rubin became Senior Vice President for the rest of the company’s mobile efforts. He left Android in March 2013 but didn’t completely abandon Google. Rubin worked on robotics for Google to see if the automation of manufacturing and distribution could be furthered. At the time, Google was said to be interested in challenging Amazon as an online retailer.

Rubin’s new company could be funded by Playground Global, a tech incubator founded by himself. Playground Global has raised in the ballpark of $300 million — much of it coming from Google, Foxconn, HP, Tencent, and Seagate — since launching in 2015, but the money was directed at artificial intelligence and home automation. Assuming he didn’t spend it all and investors come rushing to his next idea, we’re probably looking at Andy Rubin’s return to the mobile industry take place in early 2017 or beyond. This industry isn’t easily penetrable and Rubin knows just how much power companies like Samsung and Apple have. And with no company proving to be competitive with Samsung on the Android side of things, Rubin might have sight on an opening. It will take a lot of time and money before Rubin feels he has something to enter the market and generate profit.

Playground Global’s site lists multiple jobs relating to hardware engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial design, and software. But the job descriptions note that employees will be helping other companies in their endeavors. A new mobile device manufacturer could very well be what Playground Global is seeking to be involved in. And it won’t be difficult to bring multiple parties together if one person is behind it all.

It’s currently unclear if Rubin wants to run the new company or just bankroll it.

Source: The Information


About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.