Also known as the T-Mobile G1, the HTC Dream was announced in September 2008 and made available to North American consumers in October of the same year, many months before the next Android devices arrived and about a full year after the Apple iPhone arrived.
The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G shipped in July 2009, while the Samsung Moment and Motorola Cliq launched in October. Clearly, the pace of innovation around mobile devices was slower then and market leaders comprised the likes of Blackberry, a variety of Windows Mobile phones with QWERTY keyboards, the Motorola Razr, Palm Treos, and pioneering devices like Nokia's excellent N95.
The HTC Dream ran Android 1.6 Donut and featured a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 528 MHz Qualcomm Arm11 processor, 192MB of RAM, 256MB of storage (expandable to 16GB via microSD), a 3.15-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus, 3-axis accelerometer, and a 1150mAh lithium-ion battery. As was customary at the time, the HTC Dream had a full QWERTY keyboard and trackball (albeit physically hidden beneath the display), in addition to volume controls on the side of the device.
The first Android phone's software was praised for its customizable GUI and notification system, integration with Google services including Gmail and its open nature. Although many tech enthusiasts had high expectations for the device, its reception was mixed due to limited app selection and a lack of features such as multitouch gestures and enterprise syncing. But that was just the beginning of the road for Google's mobile OS.