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Android's creator is jumping back into the smartphone business

Andy Rubin, venture partner at Redpoint Ventures.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Andy Rubin, venture partner at Redpoint Ventures.

Andy Rubin — the creator of the Android software that powers most of the world's smartphones — is working on a suite of hardware products including a smartphone to rival Apple's iPhone and Google's Pixel, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Mark Bergen.

The new phone, which Rubin hopes to start selling mid-2017, will feature an edge-to-edge screen and cost around the same price of an iPhone 7, Bloomberg reported. Artificial intelligence will be baked into the new device, just one of a number of hardware products the team is working on.

In this new venture Rubin has assembled a team of roughly 40 engineers — largely made up of former Alphabet and Apple employees — to build the device, along with a number of other mobile and smart home devices, according to the report.

Rubin discussed the new smartphone with carrier executives, including some from Sprint, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week and is preparing to publicly launch his new company, called Essential.