“In 2005, on Google’s sprawling, college-like campus, the most secret and ambitious of many, many teams was Google’s own smartphone effort—the Android project,” Fred Vogelstein reports for The Atlantic. “Tucked in a first-floor corner of Google’s Building 44, surrounded by Google ad reps, its four dozen engineers thought that they were on track to deliver a revolutionary device that would change the mobile phone industry forever.”

“By January 2007, they’d all worked sixty-to-eighty-hour weeks for fifteen months—some for more than two years—writing and testing code, negotiating soft­ware licenses, and flying all over the world to find the right parts, suppliers, and manufacturers,” Vogelstein reports. “They had been working with proto­types for six months and had planned a launch by the end of the year… until Jobs took the stage to unveil the iPhone.”

MacDailyNews Take: And a collective “FSCK!” was dispatched into the universe from Mountain View.

“Chris DeSalvo’s reaction to the iPhone was immediate and visceral. ‘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,”” Vogelstein reports. “For most of Silicon Valley—including most of Google—the iPhone’s unveiling on January 9, 2007 was something to celebrate. Jobs had once again done the impossible… But for the Google Android team, the iPhone was a kick in the stomach. ‘What we had suddenly looked just so… nineties,’ DeSalvo said. ‘It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it.'”

“On the day Jobs announced the iPhone, the director of the Android team, Andy Rubin, was six hundred miles away in Las Vegas, on his way to a meeting with one of the myriad handset makers and carriers that descend on the city for the Consumer Electronics Show. He reacted exactly as DeSalvo predicted. Rubin was so astonished by what Jobs was unveiling that, on his way to a meeting, he had his driver pull over so that he could finish watching the webcast” Vogelstein reports. “‘Holy crap,’ he said to one of his colleagues in the car. ‘I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.’ …Within weeks the Android team had completely reconfigured its objectives. A phone with a touchscreen, code-named Dream, that had been in the early stages of development, became the focus.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

Hence the thermonuclear war.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]