Andy Rubin’s Essential is targeting a phone for Sprint (and others)

Andy Rubin seems so ingrained into Silicon Valley lore as one of the big fishes in the mobile pond. He was one of the handful that kicked Android into gear some 14 years ago and kept on kicking it through Google ownership until 2013 when he moved elsewhere in Mountain View and then in 2014 when he escaped it altogether.

After founding an tech industry accelerator called Playground Global in 2015, Bloomberg reports that Rubin is taking the CEO helm of another new company named Essential Products Inc., the name of which he filed with the state of California late that year. Only from late last year was he granted the term “Essential” with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Sources say that one of the leading drives for Essential’s staff of 40 is a smartphone. The team, made in part of Google and Apple alumni, is supposedly in charge of framing that phone as part of a platform that will be bolstered by and connected to other Essential devices for mobile and smart home purposes in the future.

The phone is still being prototyped, but it has already been shuttled by Rubin to CES 2017 for talks with US carriers representatives — Sprint was the only name dropped. It’s being talked about like one of the popular concept phones you’ve seen flying around lately: with a large screen and near-zero bezel. A magnetic port is being engineered to not only charge the phone, but to also give it modular accessories. We are not certain of what OS the phone will run.

Foxconn is said to be engaged in manufacturing talks with Essential. If things pan out quickly, Rubin hopes to have the high-end device (targeting the Pixel and iPhone price range) sent to market by mid-year.

None of the parties mentioned have stated anything to inquiries about this subject, so it’s needless to say that you should hold your breath for any of these details.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.