Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android software platform, has quit Google – but those who have been trying to spin the move as a shift of power within the Android platform will have to shelve such theories, at least for now. Even as Google and Samsung continue to redefine the word “frenemies” within the tech industry space, both vying for sole control of the Android space while still continuing to work together to try to boost the platform’s horizons, Rubin’s exit is about something else altogether.
Officially, Andy Rubin is headed to work at a tech incubator with ties to Google itself. Behind the scenes, that could mean a number of things. Rubin may have become bored with working on a platform he created a decade ago, which has gradually evolved from an open source experiment on his part into a major mobile software project in which numerous billion dollar tech companies are involved. It could be that Google decided it no longer wanted Rubin so closely involved with Android development. Neither theory is likely to be confirmed by either party any time soon.
With Google developing the Android system software its own cost and giving it away to hardware vendors who have been cashing in left and right, the industry has been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Would it be Google trying to find a way to force the hardware companies to either fork over a share of the money, or trying to force them off the platform entirely? Would it be leading vendor Samsung attempting to develop its own Android variant in-house so it would have total control over its own hardware products? Idle chatter had Samsung trying to pick off a key Android developer from Google. But if that is to happen, it’ll have to be someone else, as Andy Rubin’s departure from Google appears to be less about hijinks than merely about the continued evolution of the platform from where it was a decade ago.