The Creator of Android May Launch New Smartphone Company

The Creator of Android May Launch New Smartphone Company

Any Rubin

Image credit: Joi | Wikimedia Commons

Andy Rubin might be about to get back into the mobile game.

He is best known as one of the key architects of Android, helping to create the now-ubiquitous mobile operating system and working on it at Google until 2013. After that he moved to Google's robotics division, before leaving the Californian tech giant altogether in 2014.

But a report from The Information's Amir Efrati claims that Rubin isn't done with the mobile phone industry, and is interested in launching his own smartphone company.

"People in the smartphone industry" have told the tech news site that the veteran entrepreneur is trying to recruit people to the project. Rubin runs a venture capital fund Playground Ventures with $300 million (£200 million) in the bank.

It's not clear whether Rubin will be seeking to build the company himself — or just looking to financially support it (and mentor it) via Playground Ventures. (Rubin also works as a partner at Redpoint Ventures, another VC firm.)

Whatever Rubin's decision, it is likely to be ambitious. "What am I going to do for the next 10 years of my life?" he asked at the Code/Mobile Conference in October 2015. "Am I going to fight for 1% market share, or am I going to make 10 more Androids?"

Rubin is also a keen believer in the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He told the audience at the Code/Mobile conference: "Mobile isn’t going away ... There is a point in time — I have no idea when it is — it won't be in the next 10 years, or 20 years — where there is some form of AI, for lack of a better term, that will be the next computing platform."

In an interview before Rubin left Google, a former coworker said he "likes to think fast and innovate ... I think that at some point, Android got so big that it's not necessarily that same challenge. And I think he still wants to have some more challenges and make some more great things happen."

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