“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,” Rolfe Winkler reports for The Wall Street Journal.
“The planned investment would have valued the startup, Essential Products Inc., at $1 billion, these people say, a lofty amount for a startup that has yet to sell a product in one of technology’s most cutthroat industries,” Winkler reports. “The offer banked on the pedigree of Essential’s founder Andy Rubin, who sold his previous startup, Android, to Alphabet Inc.’s Google in 2005, then helped turn its software into the world’s most used smartphone operating system, powering devices rivaling Apple’s iPhone.”
“As part of the proposed deal with Essential, Mr. Son had promised that SoftBank’s telecom subsidiary in Japan would provide a big marketing push for the release of Essential’s high-end smartphone, scheduled for this spring, the people said, ahead of Apple’s expected fall release of its 10th anniversary iPhone,” Winkler reports. “In January, Apple agreed to commit $1 billion to the Vision Fund. Though Apple didn’t block the Essential deal, according to the people, its investment complicated SoftBank’s interest in a competing smartphone company. In February, after months of negotiations and when final investment contracts were being drawn up, Mr. Son backed out of the deal.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Smart move by Mr. Son.
Andy Rubin is nothing more than a reactionary mimic, and not a very good one at that. – MacDailyNews, October 31, 2014
“Holy crap! I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.” – Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin, moments after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone on January 9, 2007
Former Android head Andy Rubin leaving Google – October 31, 2014
Why Google really, truly, deeply hates Apple – May 30, 2014
Prior to Steve Jobs unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android didn’t support touchscreen input – April 14, 2014
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011