Will Andy Rubin Be Getting Back in the Smartphone Game?

December 6, 2015 •

Andy Rubin back in smartphone gameAndy Rubin, one of the original masterminds behind Android, left the Google’s Android division two years ago and stepped away from Google in general a year ago. Recently, though, the co-founder of Android has expressed interest in getting back into the game. Could Rubin see an opportunity in the Android market? More importantly, will he be able to elevate the Android platform if he returns?

The iPhone Out Performs High-End Android Devices

Recent reports, issued by both Apple and a third-party research firm, show that the iPhone is outselling high-end Android devices. In Apple’s last earnings call, Tim Cook noted that 30 percent of the previous quarter’s iPhone sales were Android customers converting to iOS. The Consumer Intelligence Research Partner has similar data. According to a study conducted by the firm, 26 percent of recent iPhone 6s sales were conversions from Android devices.

When it comes to low and mid-level smartphones, Android is doing well both domestically and globally. There are many low and mid-priced Android devices to choose from, and there are many Android users buying these devices.

However, in the high-end smartphone market Android is underperforming, which means there is opportunity. Device selection is minimal and consumers are converting to Apple.

Andy Rubin Might Enter the High-End Android Market

Rubin, who has spent the last year developing and running a venture capital firm, recently expressed interest in creating a new Android device. Thus far, Rubin has given no details about whether his firm would fund such an endeavor or what sector of the market he is interested in. Considering his background with Android and available capital,  his interest in creating an Android device is promising.

Andy Rubin
(via The Information)

The logical market for Rubin to develop an Android device for is the high-end smartphone market, the sector where Android is giving way to the iPhone. There is a clear opportunity and there is no one better than Rubin to seize it.

Although he has not confirmed that this is his plan, if Rubin is thinking about creating a new high-end Android device, he could bring the platform to new levels. If he’s successful, next year customers might be converting from Apple to Android, and both Google’s and Apple’s earnings reports might look significantly different.