Android creator Andy Rubin plans AI-equipped smartphone with edge-to-edge display, ceramic...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2017
The man behind Google's Android platform, Andy Rubin, is preparing to reveal a company that will field a high-end smartphone with a bezel-free screen, ceramic back, and a heavy focus on AI -- posing yet another challenge to Apple's iPhone, a report said on Friday.




Rubin, who has been out of Google for over two years, will soon announce a firm called Essential with himself as CEO, sources informed Bloomberg. He in fact registered "Essential Products Inc." in California in Nov. 2015, and towards the end of 2016 submitted "Essential" to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, identifying smartphones, tablets, and mobile OS software among the outfit's goods and services.

The current team is believed to have about 40 people, many of them from recruited from Apple and Google.

The Bloomberg sources suggested that Essential is working on a suite of devices aimed at the mobile and smarthome markets. As for the phone, however, Rubin was allegedly discussing it with carrier executives during the past week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including people at Sprint.

Though the phone is still in the prototype phase, one concept is said have a display bigger than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, but a smaller size overall due to its lack of bezels. It could also have a pressure-sensitive interface, akin to Apple's 3D Touch, ceramic back and a unique magnetic connector, enabling not just charging but the addition of accessories like a spherical 360-degree camera Essential engineers are said to be working on.

Ceramic is still a relatively rare feature on smartphones, owing to its cost. Apple uses a ceramic shell on just one product -- the Apple Watch Edition -- which is also the most expensive model, starting at $1,249.

It's not clear how deeply the phone will incorporate AI, but publicly Rubin has argued that "the next platform" is about "data and people training AI systems to learn." AI is expected to feature through multiple Essential products.

One source indicated that Rubin is aiming to ship the phone as soon as mid-2017, with a price tag close to the iPhone 7's $649. These plans are still evolving, however.

At Google, AI has become a tentpole feature, taking centerstage on its Pixel phones as well as the Google Home smart speaker. Critics of Apple have complained that its efforts have been weak by comparison, with Siri, for instance, being unable to understand context or answer many questions without directing people to a Bing search.

«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    real artists ship
    patchythepirateration altmaylkruppSoliStrangeDayscornchipjustadcomicsgtr
  • Reply 2 of 43
    How is it a challenge to Apple when a product has not even shipped?
    mike1StrangeDaystgr1levicalinetmagepscooter63cornchipjustadcomicswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 43

    Is this story being announced to commemorate the 10th anniversary of him deciding to copy the iPhone?

    Guess he's trying to get ahead of the curve this time around.

    mike1damn_its_hotStrangeDaystgr1ration almejsriccalipscooter63magman1979cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 43
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 593member
    they left out the part of no headphone jack and a silohette of a tangerine on the back/middle of the phone.
    calicornchipapplepieguy
  • Reply 5 of 43
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,849member
    And the previous headline in the AI feed read...

    "Revenue from Apple's App Store grows 60% to $5.4 billion"

    Long way to go before they are threat.
    edited January 2017 StrangeDayscaliretrogustocornchipapplepieguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 43
    waltgwaltg Posts: 87member
    More competition Apple! While I like my Apple products, and own stock I see them falling behind, I call Siri a dump b**** all the time, fire up google, ask it, get the answer pow! Same thing with the maps! Come on Apple, yes you have some great equipment and OS, BUT, others are further ahead in many aspects! As an Apple equipment owner,(Phone,iPad Pro,iMac) and a company stock holder I say get on the stick and now!!! Some of the rumors for the fall release of the new 'aniversary' iPhone is old news stuff,, wireless charging, no bezel,,, others have had this for at least two years now!!!!
    saldogpatchythepiratedigitolavon b7brucemc
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Good luck to him but I seriously doubt he would be able to get any traction with phone that is just a slightly improved over what are on the markets today. Those easy days are over long time ago. I could see a phone that can transform to a robot would be able to grab shares in today's market and make money. Short of that, it would just be a waste of money. He should instead doing something else.
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Plans AI- equipped smartphone? As opposed to?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 43
    waltg said:
    More competition Apple! While I like my Apple products, and own stock I see them falling behind, I call Siri a dump b**** all the time, fire up google, ask it, get the answer pow! Same thing with the maps! Come on Apple, yes you have some great equipment and OS, BUT, others are further ahead in many aspects! As an Apple equipment owner,(Phone,iPad Pro,iMac) and a company stock holder I say get on the stick and now!!! Some of the rumors for the fall release of the new 'aniversary' iPhone is old news stuff,, wireless charging, no bezel,,, others have had this for at least two years now!!!!
    I doubt it will be a special 10 year anniversary model. If you think Apple's wireless charging will be the same as that of a two-year-old phone with wireless charging, then you still don't get Apple. Sell. 
    mwhitefracbrucemccornchipapplepieguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 43
    Very unlikely, where is he getting the technology from? If there were a manufacturer that can supply what he claims, then Samsung or Apple would be their #1 customer because they can guarantee quantity. 

    He's just trying to create hype. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 43
    Another competitor to the iPhone? Shiver me timbers.
    pscooter63cornchipapplepieguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 43
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Still in the concept/prototype phase. 
    Shipping six months from now. 
    ??

    StrangeDayspeterhartcornchipapplepieguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 43
    He shoulda listened to Peter Thiel's prognostication about the end of smartphone history.
    patchythepirateStrangeDayswonkothesanepscooter63justadcomicswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Anyone else see the irony on this one? This is the same guy who said back in 2011 that he doesn't believe your phone should be an assistant. Rubin has always been a joke.
    patchythepirateStrangeDaysapplepieguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Let's see where this goes.

    As others have said here and many of us have said before, competition is good. If Rubin can stretch the definition of what is this market, so much the better. If his company is just going to market another "me too" iPhone ripoff, then the market will sort this out rather quickly.
    edited January 2017 suddenly newtonpscooter63cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 43
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 191member
    He should look developing a Lego-like phone, whose components can be swapped out when a newer, better one comes out. Instead of replacing the entire phone, you just replace the, um, you know, just replace the... 
    StrangeDayscornchipRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 43
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Apple customers, especially those ties into the ecosystem are pretty loyal. Ninety nine percent of sales of this device will be former android users.
    patchythepiratecornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 43
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    Sounds like more of a potential threat to Android.
    StrangeDayscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 43
    Any competition to Samsung is a good thing!
    pscooter63cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 43
    Now the Thief-in-Chief has got a black long sleeve top, fading Levis, wire frame glasses, and receding hair. Stealing Steve's iPhone wasn't enough, now it's "bitch stole my look!"
    edited January 2017 bigpicsStrangeDayscornchipjustadcomicswatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.