Smartphone Company Backed By Android Creator Calls It Quits
The man who created Android has pulled up stumps on a smartphone startup which was set to deliver a new GEM device
Essential Products, which was founded by Android creator Andy Rubin, has closed down their operation.
The company said it “made the difficult decision to cease operations.” Essential took its Project GEM phone, with a miniature screen and new software platform, as far as it could and sees “no clear path to deliver it to customers,” according to a blog post on Wednesday.
Rubin was the leadf programmer for Google’s Android mobile software business for years.
He left the internet giant in 2014 after an employee accused him of sexual misconduct.
Google investigated, found the allegation credible and asked him to resign, but also gave him a $90 million exit package.
That inspired protests by thousands of Google employees and at least one lawsuit against the company. Rubin has denied wrongdoing.Bloomberg reported.
At CES ChannelNews was told that Huawei had approached Rubin to sound him out on the concept of taking over the lead on the development of a Huawei owned OS for Western markets after Google banned the Chinese Company from having access to Android apps.
Essential raised more than $300 million from firms including Redpoint Ventures, Altimeter Capital, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Foxconn Technology Group.
Rubin’s startup incubator Playground Global was also a backer.
Bloomberg said that the startup was one of the first companies to use a full-screen design for smartphones, a trend that technology giants including Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. followed. Essential devices didn’t sell well early on and it cut jobs and put itself up for sale.