Andy Rubin Takes Page From Legere’s Playbook And Hopes Essential Will Break Up Apple-Samsung Duopoly

Are you tired of the current smartphone offerings from the Apple-Samsung duopoly? Andy Rubin, the creator of Google’s Android, may have the right product for you. His startup just introduced its new premium-tier device, the Essential Phone.

Rubin recently remarked at the Wired conference, “I think when there's this duopoly with these two guys owning 40 percent of the market, this complacency sets in. And that's the perfect time to start a company with this. Some people are complacent and it needs to be disrupted.” Much like third-place U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile and its brash CEO John Legere have thought outside the box to counter big guns Verizon and AT&T, Rubin wants to be a disrupter. 

andy rubin selfie

Rubin formed Playground Global shortly after leaving Google in 2014. In 2015, Rubin founded Essential Products with money he raised from Playground Global. Essential recently raised an additional $300 million USD and is currently valued between $900 million and $1 billion. Other investors include heavy hitters such as Foxconn and Tencent.

The goal with Essential Phone is to make things simpler for customers, by eliminating dongles and connectors. All of its accessories connect magnetically. Rubin noted, “It kind of occurred to us that we need a connector-less future, where you don't have to buy dongles, you don't have to change from a USB-B to a USB-C, and stuff like that. So this phone gets us there in an incremental step.”

essential phone case

The Essential Phone includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. It incorporates a USB-C port with fast charging support, a 3040 mAh battery, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and the new Bluetooth 5.0 wireless standard. The device is constructed of titanium and ceramic and is available for pre-order starting at $699.

Essential also introduced its new smart speaker, the Essential Home. The device will be similar to Amazon’s Echo or Google Home, however, it will run on Essential's Ambient OS. The device's main focuses are on privacy and working seamlessly with user’s other home devices. There is currently no price or release date, nevertheless, the company has an open SDK and is looking for developers to create new functionalities.

You can pre-order the Essential Phone here.