(Photo : Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
Japanese firm Softbank has pulled out its investment from former Android CEO Andy Rubin's Essential Products. Apple's investment pledge of $1 billion may have had something to do with it.
CNBC reports that Softbank and Essential Products were in the final stages of their deal when the former decided to pull out its investment of $100 million. Essential was working on a new smartphone that was reportedly going to compete against Apple's iPhone, writes BGR.
The phone would have been marketed in Japan, writes CNBC. BGR adds that had the deal gone through, Essential products would have been valued at $1 billion.
The possible reason that Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son reconsidered its investment in Essential Products may have been because of Apple. Although Apple did not directly do anything to block the deal, it pledged a $1 billion investment into the Japanese firm's Vision Fund.
BGR writes that Softbank's relationship with Apple may have made it rethink its decision to invest in the latter's competitor firm. It adds that Softbank and Essential Products were reportedly working on the final contract, a stage wherein deals are rarely abandoned, when the former pulled out.
Andy Rubin is the former CEO of Android. His new firm Essential Products has yet to announce what its new high-tech smartphone would be.
What has been revealed, however, is that it would cost nearly as much as the new iPhone and that it would run on Android as well as have a "sleek styling," writes BGR. It is yet to be seen how this setback affects the Andy Rubin's new and upcoming smartphone.
In other related news, Softbank invested $300 million into a startup WeWork, which is a shared-office space firm. Read more about it here.
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