Previous Apple engineer, Andy Rubin went on to co-found mobile computing outfits Danger and Android. He sold the former to Microsoft and the latter to Google, where he is now vice president of engineering. He’s also the guy quarterbacking development of Google’s Android mobile operating system and the Nexus One–the Smartphone with which Google hopes to fundamentally change the way people buy cell phones.
In conversation with All Things Digital’s Walt Mossberg Friday, Rubin talked about the mobile space, Google’s plan for an enterprise version of the Nexus One, and its vision for the way phones should be bought and sold. Walt starts off by asking Rubin about just how involved Google was in the development of the Nexus One.
Rubin replies, “We threw out crazy ideas to our partners at HTC, and they were pretty good about plucking the good ones out of the air and building them into the device.”
Walt asks about the new business model Google’s launched in concert with Nexus One. Was this something the company planned all along?
“This is the next phase of Android–taking the newest versions of the product, placing them online, and allowing consumers to purchase them directly,” says Rubin. “What we’ve learned is that there are more efficient ways of connecting consumers with the phones they’d like to purchase…easier ways.” Purchasing a Nexus One through Google, says Rubin, is a casual process. “No one’s breathing down your neck,” he says. “No one’s trying to upsell you.”