Happy Birthday Andy Rubin: The Man Who Sold Android For $50 Million To Google

Today marks the birth of the founder of the world's most adopted smartphone operating system. Meet Andy Rubin, who holds numerous patents, and his innovative ideas have played a significant role in propelling smartphone adoption worldwide. On his 60th birthday today, we bring some interesting yet less-known facts about Andy Rubin and his path-breaking innovations.

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Andy Rubin is widely regarded as an exceptional individual, possessing not only the qualities of an inventor but also the business acumen of a successful entrepreneur. As the founder of Android, a company that was later acquired by Google (a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Rubin’s contributions to the tech industry are highly esteemed. Furthermore, he holds numerous patents, and his innovative ideas have played a significant role in propelling smartphone adoption worldwide, surpassing even the most optimistic expectations.

Andy Rubin’s interest in gadgets and technology can be traced back to his father’s involvement in a direct marketing business. His father’s company photographed electronic gadgets and included them in marketing catalogues sent to credit card consumers along with their bills. This early exposure played a significant role in shaping his passion for the industry and ultimately influenced his career path as an inventor and entrepreneur.

Touted to be the man behind the $12.5 billion Motorola deal, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content at Google until March 2013, Andrew E. Rubin is also the co-founder and former CEO of both Android Inc. and Danger Inc. In August 2005, Android was bought out by Google for about $50 million. While the other company Danger Inc., whose signature product was T-Mobile Sidekick (also known as Danger Hiptop), a phone with PDA-like abilities, was acquired by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on February 11, 2008, for about $500 million.

Later in November 2015, Andy Rubin co-founded Essential Products, Inc., which developed the AI-powered Android-based Essential Phone and Essential Home. Despite not receiving a positive response from smartphone users, Andy Rubin revealed plans to release a new Essential smartphone in June 2019. However, on February 12, 2020, Essential announced through a blog update that they were discontinuing their operations.

andy rubin essential phone

Having a history of making hobbies into his career, Rubin’s first job was as a robot engineer at Carl Zeiss, the lens manufacturing company, where he worked on the digital communications between networks of manufacturing and measurement machines. He calls himself an engineer and tinkerer. Robotics is his hobby, as a result of which he has built his own and amassed a collection of robots from Japan. Two of his amazing robotic innovation adoptions are found right as you visit his home:

1. Andy Rubin has adopted an innovative security system for his home, completely eliminating the need for traditional keys. In a lighthearted manner, he jokes about the system being particularly useful when dealing with former girlfriends. Instead of keys, a Retinal Scanner is installed to monitor the entrance. If an individual’s retinal scan matches the information stored in the database, they are granted access without any further steps. However, if the scan doesn’t match, the person must ring the doorbell and await entry through traditional means. This unique and advanced security feature showcases Rubin’s interest in incorporating cutting-edge technology into his personal life.

2. As you approach the entrance, you’ll notice an extraordinary feature integrated into Andy Rubin’s doorbell. A robotic arm equipped with a mallet grasps it, striking a grand gong located within the glass foyer. This automated spectacle adds a touch of uniqueness to the arrival experience.

Here are some more interesting yet lesser-known facts about Andy Rubin:

  1. Andy gave shelter to a vacationing Apple engineer, Bill Caswell, who was thrown out of his cottage by his angry girlfriend. Mr Caswell offered him the job at Apple in reciprocation.
  2. Mr.Rubin adopted the name given to him by his coworkers at Apple who called him Android because of his love for robots, for his mobile OS venture he started years later.
  3. At Apple, he took on research and development tasks that included the development of Quadra, a desktop computer and a software modem.
  4. He got into trouble with Apple’s IT Department, after his prank of reprogramming the phone system to make it sound like John Sculley, the CEO was offering special grants to his colleagues.
  5. Andy, in an interview with AllThingsD, admitted that there was no way he would have been profitable as a startup without Google buying it out. His business of Android Inc earlier was putting Android OS on devices and giving it free, and they earned by selling services to the operators. Now with Google, Android earns thanks to the people who view ads via the Google products and mobile advertisement platform.
  6. There was a rumour that Andy had got a no strings attached offer from Facebook that was looking to build, maybe, a Facebook phone or a more social mobile operating system, that he could not refuse.

Today, 60-year-old Andy Rubin has an estimated net worth of $300 million. He has taken on a significant role as the head of the robotics division at Google, indicating his continued involvement in the tech industry. We extend our well wishes to him for an extraordinary year filled with groundbreaking inventions and innovations. It is exciting to anticipate how he will shape the future stages of this ever-evolving technology landscape.

The interesting similarity that we see between yesterday and today is, both Pierre Omidyar and Andy Rubin transformed their hobbies into successful businesses. Additionally, both individuals had a connection to General Magic during a similar timeframe. This leads us to ponder whether there was something truly magical about this Apple spin-off that influenced its employees, or if it simply attracted like-minded individuals through its hiring practices.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, and Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.


  1. Happy Birthday Andy Rubin!!!! Wish you a life full of successful Inventions and Prosperity….


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