The founder of Google’s Android platform is reportedly planning to launch a new smartphone in the UK.
According to the Financial Times, Andy Rubin’s start-up Essential has been in discussions with a number of operators in Britain about a possible launch date.
The newspaper understands that EE is among those in the running to partner with Essential on the smartphone, which will retail at around £535.
This means it will be in direct competition with the likes of Apple and the latest iteration of its iPhone, as well as Samsung and its hugely successful Galaxy range of handsets.
Among the features of Essential’s device, known simply as the Phone, is a large display that almost entirely covers the front side.
The handset also includes two magnetic connections on the back, so people can connect accessories such as 360-degree cameras.
Users can shoot 4K video on the device’s front camera, while there are two 13-megapixel cameras on the reverse side.
Niccolo de Masi, chief operating officer of Essential, commented: “Consumer choice has declined due to Samsung and Apple.”
Furthermore, he suggested the two tech giants have “slowed the pace of innovation” to boost quarterly profits, whereas the Essential Phone is being aimed at “trendsetters and technology seekers”.
Mr de Masi went on to dismiss criticism that people are only taking notice of it because of Mr Rubin’s involvement.
Indeed, he said Mr Rubin transformed Android from an obscure start-up to an operating system that now runs 86 per cent of all smartphones.
“Android proves it can be done,” Mr de Masi stated.