SoftBank’s Relationship With Apple Reportedly Led to Withdrawal of $100 Million Investment in Andy Rubin’s Smartphone Startup


andy-rubin android

In January of this year, it was reported that Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system, was putting together a new company.

That goal was a smartphone startup, which would deliver a smartphone designed around artificial intelligence. To help build that company, investments are required, and Rubin was expected to rake in quite a bit of money. However, The Wall Street Journal reports that one of the biggest investors, SoftBank, out of Japan, has pulled its planned investment.

“SoftBank Group Corp. scrapped a planned $100 million investment in a smartphone startup founded by the creator of Google’s Android software, partly because of the Japanese investor’s increasingly close relationship with Apple Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.”

The report notes that the deal was “nearly complete,” and that the only reason SoftBank has decided to withdraw its investment in Essential is due to its growing relationship with Apple. As a result of the potential conflict of interest, SoftBank decided to opt out of the investment.

For its part, Rubin’s startup, Essential, is still trucking forward, and plans on announcing its new smartphone in the spring or summer of this year.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

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