The iPhone caused Android developers to "start over"

By on December 20, 2013, 9:30 AM
google, apple, iphone, android, htc dream, sooner

The original iPhone was perhaps more revolutionary than many of us realize. The announcement of the very first smartphone from Apple prompted the development team for Google's competitor, Android, to come to the conclusion that they would "have to start over".

As a book excerpt published in The Atlantic has revealed, the iPhone launch made Android developer Chris DeSalvo suddenly realize that the initial version of the operating system, and the phone it would run on codenamed 'Sooner', "looked just so... nineties". Google at the time was working to stop the long-running trend of every phone running a different operating system and apps, but their efforts weren't going to be enough.

Referring to early prototypes of 'Sooner', Android director Andy Rubin recalls saying to a colleague at the time of the iPhone launch that "I guess we’re not going to ship that phone." Sooner was ugly, and resembled a BlackBerry of the time; there was a small screen without touch support, and a traditional keyboard for input.

Through pushing back the launch of Android and Sooner until 2008, the team could focus on making the combination a true iPhone competitor. Engineers started experimenting with touchscreens, while also looking at what things the iPhone didn't do, such as running apps simultaneously. Sooner eventually turned into the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1), which still packed a keyboard in sliding form, but also came with a large touchscreen display.

Since 2007, Android has blossomed into a major player in the smartphone market, no doubt because of some key, iPhone-inspired changes.




User Comments: 9

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Guest said:

Here we go in 3...2...1...

Guest said:

If you have ever owned a phone before the original iphone you definitely had a relative POS. Iphone was at least 2 years ahead of its time.

3 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If you have ever owned a phone before the original iphone you definitely had a relative POS. Iphone was at least 2 years ahead of its time.
Two years ahead of everyone else maybe, but not ahead of its time.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Ahead of it's time? Windows Mobile 2003 was ahead of it's time. With internet, e-mail, messaging, screen capture, blue-tooth file transfer (Which the iPhone still has held back), media player, weather apps, memory card input (Which the iPhone still has held back), calendar, and more. All Apple did was make it look cuter and easier to use.

Now here we have articles constantly trying to belittle Android, which is the number one selling OS in the world. Smells like a sore loser to me.

This info via Gartner.

Worldwide smartphone sales to end users by operating system in 2013

Android

?79.0%

iOS

?14.2%

Windows Mobile

?3.3%

BlackBerry

?2.7%

Other

?0.9%

Guest said:

@cliffordcooley,

If it wasn't so ahead if its time as you suggest, I would love to see your examples of phones that were using touchscreens and had the same look and feel as the original iphone prior to its release..

Face it Apple did reinvent the way modern cell phones look and behave.

..cue all the haters who keep saying Apple can't innovate.. :eek::p

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@cliffordcooley,

If it wasn't so ahead if its time as you suggest

First off, there is no such thing as technology that is ahead of its time. The statement itself is false, that is unless time travel does exist.

Besides what part of "Two years ahead of everyone else" did you not understand. Innovation is not presenting things ahead of its time. Especially when all the independent components already existed and Apple simply put the pieces together.

Guest said:

I had a Samsung flipphone before my first iphone. The game it had installed was similar to pong. People used their phones only as phones before the iphone.

Guest said:

I used to be an iphone user, then I took an arrow in the knee..

..err, then I took an android to replace it..

Guest said:

"First off, there is no such thing as technology that is ahead of its time. The statement itself is false, that is unless time travel does exist."

I call BS on this statement, history is loaded with examples of technology that were ahead of it time.

[link]

one of hundreds of articles found.

You're just a crabby old hater ;)

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