“This changes everything” is a particularly bold marketing claim from California’s Apple, but we’re hearing that that was indeed the case when the first-gen iPhone appeared in 2007.
Google’s reaction, having snapped up work-in-progress Android in 2005, was to go back to ye olde drawing board.
The words are housed in a book called Dogfight by Fred Vogelstein, which details the smartphone wars circa iOS and Android.
The Atlantic has a lovely excerpt, including these words from former Google guy Chris DeSalvo: “As a consumer I was blown away [by the iPhone]. 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,” admits Chris. “It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it.”
What Team Mountain View had at that point was Google Sooner, a keyboard-focused handset with a non-touch display. Imagine a terrible BlackBerry, and you’re in the right ballpark.
Andy Rubin’s reaction to the iPhone was similar, yelling: “Holy crap. I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”
Of course, the first ever Android phone materialised in 2008 as the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1), with a slide-out keyboard and full touchscreen.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Death to Nokia’s Symbian and BlackBerry; hello iPhone and Android.