Whether you are an Android user, Windows Phone user or Apple fanboy you cannot deny the fact that Apple and the iPhone revolutionized the mobile industry when it launched in 2007. It is safe to say that without the iPhone smartphones would have been completely different today.
In fact speaking of Android, which is the biggest competitor to the iOS operating system, and now the world’s largest mobile platform, did you know that without the iPhone Android may not exist as it does today?
Seriously, Google started work on the software way back in 2005, but it scrapped everything and started again the day after iPhone was revealed to the world.
According to Cult Of Android (via The Atlantic) “Google had been working on Android for two years, and it had more than 40 engineers assigned to the project. All of them worked “worked sixty-to-eighty-hour weeks for fifteen months—some for more than two years—writing and testing code” to prepare Android for its release by the end of the year.”
But after Steve Jobs stepped off the Macworld stage in January 2007 everything they had done suddenly looked old and irrelevant.
Google’s Chris DeSalvo said “As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.’ What we had suddenly looked just so . . . nineties. It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it.”
Not only did Google completely revamp Android once seeing the iPhone, but they had to also revamp the smartphone they were working on codenamed Sooner because it was nothing compared to the iPhone. It maintained a physical keyboard, had a tiny display and was made out of plastic. And although it featured many things in common with the iPhone like a proper web browser and multitasking, the team behind it felt like it just wasn’t going to cut it.
This is what Android smartphones would have looked like without the iPhone.
So within weeks the Android team put everything they had been working on aside and started reconfiguring Android along with developing a new phone codenamed Dream which had a large touchscreen. This lead to Google releasing its first smartphone built by HTC in late 2007, which looked nothing like Sooner and had completely different software.