A few weeks ago we saw a couple of decidedly BlackBerry-esque (i.e. QWERTY-rockin') Android prototypes from 2006, one in particular looking oddly like the BlackBerry Bold Touch.
Now, Steve Troughton-Smith, a serial prototype collector, has gotten his hands on another early Android effort, the HTC-built Google Sooner.
HTC Google Sooner specs include an OMAP850 processor with 64MB of RAM, a 320 x 240 non-touch display above a full QWERTY, and a 1.3MP rear camera. As for connectivity, there’s not a trace of 3G or Wi-Fi. Amazing.
Running Android htc-2065.0.8.0.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich was five years off at this point), the homescreen plays host to a clock and a search box. That’s your lot. The screenshot above with the icons along the bottom is in fact loaded through an app. Great stuff.
“It’s quite clear that Android was being designed to a completely different target before the iPhone was released. What we see here would have fitted in perfectly with the world of Symbian and BlackBerry,” suggests Steve.
“This early build of Android is in fact even less capable and mature than the 2004 release of Symbian Series 90 (Hildon), the OS that runs on the Nokia 7700 and 7710 – Nokia’s first, and only, pre-iPhone touchscreen smartphones.
“It’s not hard to see that iPhone really changed the thinking across the entire industry, and caused everybody to start from scratch.”