Ex-Android chief set for new smartphone venture – report

Ex-Android chief set for new smartphone venture – report

07 DEC 2015

The plans of Andy Rubin, former Android chief at Google, were in the spotlight, after it was reported that he has tried to recruit staff “to help build a new phone company”.

According to The Information, the hiring is “likely through Playground fund”, Rubin’s startup investment pot. This has raised $300 million, the report said.

This is not the first time Rubin’s efforts have been discussed: earlier this year it was reported that HP and Google were supporting Playground, which would take equity stakes in businesses in return for assistance with areas such as manufacture, distribution and financing.

VentureBeat recently said that the fund is working with eight start-ups, including IoT hardware players.

What is not clear is whether Rubin actually plans to launch a device maker through Playground – as some reports infer – or whether the move is actually designed to boost the investment fund’s abilities to help its partners.

Despite the cut-throat nature of the smartphone industry, which has seen a number of high-profile casualties in recent years, there are already numerous companies looking to carve out a position which could benefit from the experience of Rubin and associates.

Rubin handed over the reins of Android in 2013 to Sundar Pichai, who subsequently ended up as CEO of Google. Rubin left the search giant late last year, having worked on the company’s robotics efforts in the interim.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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