Samsung could have bought Android before Google, brushed it aside with a scoff

BY Adrian Diaconescu

Published 17 Feb 2014

Samsung-AndroidMost people probably date back Android’s origin story to late 2008, when HTC’s Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1) came out. Or maybe 2007, when the Open Handset Alliance was formed, establishing the operating system’s distinguished pedigree, as HTC, Sony, Samsung, Sprint and T-Mobile were supporting Google’s baby.

But the OS was actually not Big G’s baby from the very beginning, as Samsung got first dibs way before Android 1.0 rolled out. Ironically, the Koreans passed up the opportunity to possibly have an even bigger impact on the recent mobile revolution.

Then again, who’s to say it wasn’t all for the best? After all, when Android architect Andy Rubin pitched the project to the Galaxy makers, in early 2005, any prudent, levelheaded businessman would have likely declined to get involved.

Rubin, along with six other idealistic engineers and designers, put roughly a year’s work in Android before seeking financial aid, losing quite a bit of their own money to develop what they first envisioned as a platform for digital cameras.

When the team sought help, the green robot was already visualized as a way to make handhelds smoother, more functional and productive, however the resources they needed to advance development were beyond Samsung’s possibilities.

Keep in mind that this is 2005 we’re talking about, a point in time Sammy circled the 10 percent mobile phone market share. So you see, they had to take a pretty massive leap of faith to invest in a dream. Instead, Samsung’s execs reportedly “laughed” Rubin “out of the boardroom”, allowing Google to step in a measly two weeks later.

How about that, dear readers? Can you imagine how Android would have looked if Samsung had taken the gamble? Maybe a closed ecosystem rivalling Apple’s iOS in execution? Or a Tizen-like stillborn prospect?

Via [Phone Arena]