Apple’s iPhone turned five back in June and today marks the fifth anniversary of the world’s most widely spread mobile platform, Google’s Android software. When Apple was developing its handset, then Google CEO Eric Schmidt enjoyed his seat on Apple’s board knowing his firm had already acquired Android Inc. As the two platforms evolved, on August 3, 2009 it was announced that Schmidt would resign from the board of directors at Apple due to conflict of interests.

We now know the main point of contention was Google’s work on Android, which went on to become the leading mobile platform in terms of unit sales, capturing 75 percent of total smartphone shipments and together with iOS forming a strong market duopoly. In some ways, Android out-innovated the iPhone, prompting changes in Apple’s corporate structure as the company preps for the biggest overhaul of iOS since its inception.

iDB is an Apple-focused blog but we also strive to bring you most important news from the Android camp because it pays to keep tabs on what competition is doing and mostly because healthy competition drives Apple to keep innovating for the benefit of us all. So happy fifth birthday, Android and here’s to many more years of competition…

Android was official born on November 5, 2007 when a consortium of companies formed the Open Handset Alliance and announced Android as its first product. The Alliance originally included Google, phone makers like HTC and Samsung, telcos such as T-Mobile and Sprint and chip makers like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

The first phone to run Android was the HTC Dream, also marketed as the T-Mobile G1 in the US and parts of Europe. It was released on October 22, 2008.


The phone that launched Android, HTC’s Dream.

Android has since taken Google a long way.

It is now the number one mobile platform in the world. Period.

On September 12, just ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5 keynote, Google announced half a billion Android activations globally in a market with more than a billion smartphones in use. In addition to outselling iOS devices in terms of activations, Google also matched Apple’s App Store by passing 700,000 Android apps on its own Play Store.

And who would have thought that just five years ago Google would buy Motorola and become a handset maker?

All these strides are just the beginning, really: Google is currently rethinking itself into a vertically integrated hardware vendor much in the same way Apple is.

Think I’m full of it?

Check out Google’s nice trifecta of Nexus devices for this Christmas.


Pictured above: the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

Not too shabby, eh?

And when it talks Nexus gadgets, Google shares the same enthusiasm as Apple. But it ain’t just smartphones and tablets, Google also happens to partner with OEMs on Chrome-driven notebooks.

And the Android freight train keeps chugging along.

Android, Inc. was co-founded in Palo Alto, California in October 2003 by Andy Rubin, who also co-founded Danger. He shortly ran out of cash and Google came to the rescue on August 17, 2005, making Android Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary.

Rubin holds four Android patents and is currently Google’s Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content, a capacity that also involves overseeing development of Android. Another key exec is India-born Vic Gundotra, a general manager at Microsof prior to joining Google in 2007. He is now Google’s Senior Vice President of  Engineering.


Gundotra took a jab at Apple with this slide at Google I/O last year.

Disclosure: yours truly is a die-hard Apple fan, but also uses Android devices on a regular basis for the purposes of balanced reporting.

If you’re wondering, I own a Nexus 7 and two Android smartphones: Samsung’s Galaxy S III (because it’s the cream of the crop right now) and a Galaxy Nexus (because it offers stock Android experience without carrier crapware).

Do I get to keep my fanboy badge now?

What about you?

Do you own any Android device at all?

  • kevtan

    iDroidBlog

    • chjode

      Increasingly, this has indeed been the trend here.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as that, but to cover Apple right, you also have to cover the competition, which is what we’re doing 🙂

      • Kurt

        please cover windows too as it over takes apple and dare i say even android.

      • You don’t have to anything that you don’t want to. iDownloadBlog, I mean, iDroidBlog is CHOOSING to cover Android. This is, or was, an Apple only focus blog so your fans would come here to read ONLY Apple news. We don’t care about the competition. We didn’t before you became iDroidBlog so what makes you think we care about the competition now. If we wanted to read about the competition then we’ll just visit a neutral Tech blog that was always neutral from the beginning. You can’t be an all Apple blog and then start covering Android telling us that’s what we want or that’s what you ‘have to do”. Like I said before, you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to and you WANT to cover Android because all of your staff including yourself have begun purchasing Android products and are now becoming Android fans yourself. So do us all a favor and just come out of the closet. iDroidBlog!

      • Kurt

        i want, iWindowsBlog thank you

        if you really want to know, ill tell you exactly what the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad/iPad mini will look like next year. ill even tell you what iOS will look like exactly

      • RarestName

        Okay.

      • You are correct. We don’t have to do anything we don’t want to. The same works for you. You don’t have to read Android-related posts if you don’t like them.

      • I don’t have to visit iDownloadBlog, I mean iDroidBlog, either. Congratulations. You’ve just lost a long time fan and I’m positive that I won’t be the last fan that iDownloadBlog loses because you and your staff want to jump on the Android bandwagon so late. Both Phonedog.com and Technobuffalo.com have covered the entire industry since the beginning. They didn’t jump on the Android bandwagon years later like you and your staff did. What’s insulting is that iDownloadBlog began to slowly cover Android products and gradually increased the amount of coverage as if to sneak it into the DNA of the blog without anyone noticing. Jump off of the Android bandwagon with what little dignity you and your staff have left Sebastian because you’re all late to the Android party and everyone’s noticed.

      • We’re not jumping on any bandwagon. You seem to be taking this more seriously than it actually is. I’m sure the vast majority will actually appreciate the fact that we don’t blindly say amen to everything Apple but we can have an open mind about the industry as a whole. As I said before, I don’t think you can cover Apple right if you’re not putting everything in context. Android is the context in this case. Our primarily focus has always been Apple, especially iOS, and it will always be. This being said, I can’t force you to read iDownloadBlog if it doesn’t fit your needs or if you believe we’re selling out.

  • Happy b day, I hope you fail

    • Haha Nice one.

    • Shadowlink

      Yes YOU do fail.

    • Wow, you fail actually. Android beat the iOS market share out of the water. Good luck on it failing.

    • Kurt

      you sound like obama having hatred for anyone who thinks differently than you. “think different” wasn’t that the apple moto

    • iamnotfan

      Ha ha nice one
      But sorry your wish will not come true ,
      cos pepole allready started to think different!

    • If Android fails, iOS will never progress beyond the point that it currently is. Sure they will add a few things, but it will never change as quickly and radically as it has recently. Android and Cydia have been the main things for iOS to copy during the last two major builds.

  • Still love apple

    • Tr1pTr0p

      Have you seen the Nexus 4 videos and read the reviews? I’m not trying to be an ass, but I’m honestly wondering what makes you prefer iOS over Android? I’d have to say simplicity and design consistency really make me enjoy my 4S. I just have to press a button in iTunes and all my content will automatically be copied to the device. iCloud is also good, but other than that… When it comes to functionality, options, features, speed, efficiency… Android wins by a mile, at least in my opinion. Camera interface in 4.2 is amazing, support for multiple users, settings in the notification center; the two finger swipe down… Many of us rely on jailbreaks in order to do things which are available on Android out of the box! What’s the point?

      • 1337lolzorz

        Nexus 4 does not have LTE are you aware of this huge fact?

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Yes, that’s a downside, you’re absolutely right. But neither did the iPhone until recently, and now it’s suddenly really important. Why didn’t I ever hear you complain about the iPhone not having LTE?

      • Kurt

        exactly. once apple does it, then its perfect and is needed. when apple holds back important features, they say “who needs it, its better to lack in features”

      • RarestName

        I see a lot of people complaining about the 4S not getting LTE, but then they defend the Nexus 4 by saying that it’s no big deal. And they had LTE on the Galaxy Nexus before.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Whaaat? Are you saying there are ignorant hypocritical fanboys on both sides? No waaay. /sarcasm

      • RarestName

        LOL

      • not tryna’ create a fight here or something but i personally have more interest in ios than android. i gotta admit, android has its pros which ios doesn’t have. however if we look as a whole, they are considered as business enemies.

      • Kurt

        libtards usually love apple.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Don’t start again.
        wiki(dot)answers(dot)com/Q/What_do_the_Liberals_support
        wiki(dot)answers(dot)com/Q/What_do_liberals_believe
        wiki(dot)answers(dot)com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_a_liberal_and_a_conservative

      • Kurt

        are you retarded??? steve jobs was a money hording liberal. a billionaire who never shared. its conservatives who give the most financially and time volunteering. liberals do neither. the most is Christians

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Cool! Even more baseless stereotypes! Check your facts again. You got pretty much everything wrong.

      • Kurt

        idiot,

        he was a liberal who horded money. he gave to no charity. thats a fact, again you are an idiot
        conservatives give more money and volunteer far more than liberals, thats a fact you idiot

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Great… Even more superficial claims with no evidence to back them up. You are wrong. answers yahoo com/question/index?qid=20110627210315AAZfPef

      • CollegiateLad

        Funny that you mention speed and efficiency. Just looked at the nexus 4 and nexus 10 review on AnandTech. It ain’t pretty.

      • RarestName

        I like to get things like Activator without having to get a different launcher or custom ROM. IntelliScreenX’s top shelf, viewing the Notification Center in full screen apps (stock), all these little things are things that I like about iOS.

        And not all tweaks are on Android out of the box. Some things have to be downloaded and installed as well.

        What’s the point, you ask? Smoothness AND features that are actually useful.

        I’m interested in the Nexus 4, but i guess I’ll wait for official reviews about battery life first, which is the main concern.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        OK, you got me… Whoopty doo. Of course not all of the things are available out of the box, but the option is there. There are several things which iOS doesn’t have even when jailbroken; multiple user support (I believe this isn’t available in Cydia, though not completely sure), the new innovative camera UI… Just off the top of my head. Android wins in the functionality department by default. Swipe down with two fingers to reveal quick settings, for example. Then, there are what, like 5 different unlock options? Widgets, etc. And what smoothness and features are you talking about? Jelly bean is buttery smooth, and like I said, features are there. What “actually useful features” would that be? 12 apps max per folder? The inability to freely arrange apps on the homescreen(s)? Lack of quick settings, so I have to dig around the settings app?

      • RarestName

        You’re right this time!

      • mehrab

        LOL WHAT DID I JUST READ 4.2 camera interface was a HUGGGEEEEEE FAIL IOS IS MUCH MORE EFFCIENT AND FASTER AND THE 5s beats the nexus 5 in speed design camera and ecosystem and has better features

  • SoCoMagNuM

    AT&T Galaxy S III w/unlimited LTE Enabled Network. Love this beast machine.

  • thor_molecules

    Although I’m no longer an Android user, I can still appreciate the progress Google has made. Android has come a long way in five years and the next five should be even better.

    So, good for Android and GREAT for us users that love to see plenty of competition in the mobile space.

  • MagicDrumSticks

    Wow Christian, an objective article by you? I must say I’m impressed.

    *sends you bottle of Dom Perignon

  • Happy fifth Birthday, malware

    • Kurt

      happy birthday ios and idevices, you look exactly like you did in 2007. “think different, no let’s not”

  • die android die..

    • then who will Apple copy to provide you new exciting iOS updates?