Earlier this year, Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, was happily building a new company called Essential and working on a “high-end smartphone with a large edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel.”
Much was riding on a $100 million investment from Softbank. Rubin’s company, Essential Products, was to release a new high-end smartphone this spring, and SoftBank planned to market the phone in Japan
However suddenly it appears that Softbank has withdrawn the investment and no longer wants to market the phone on its home turf. The reason appears to be that the fruity cargo cult Apple has suddenly developed an interest in working with Softbank.
Apple has written a $1 billion cheque to SoftBank’s Vision Fund, and according to the Wall Street Journal that deal “complicated” SoftBank’s investment in Essential Products.
Jobs’ Mob did not directly block the deal but the Journal claims but Rubin’s premium phone would be released ahead of the 10th anniversary iPhone and it would have been happy to see it not in the shops.