Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal

“Before and after versions of Google’s internal ‘software functional requirements’ documents released in the Apple vs Samsung trial this week show that prior to Apple’s 2007 iPhone debut, Google’s vision for Android was a simple button phone running Sun’s Java,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“It’s well known that Google’s original plan for Android shifted gears dramatically once Apple unveiled its own iPhone in early 2007. However, the documents exposed in court show how great that shift was and how little Google originally planned to disrupt the status quo in mobile phones,” Dilger reports. “Google acquired an existing Android project in 2005, which was essentially an offshoot of Danger, the Java platform powering TMobile’s SideKick slider phone. Both Danger and Android were founded by former Apple employee Andy Rubin.”

“When Jobs introduced the iPhone on stage six months later, he noted that Apple had been working on the product for two and half years, or about six months prior to Google’s acquisition of the Android team (which already had a Java based product on the drawing board),” Dilger reports. “Reacting to Jobs’ demonstration, former Apple engineering lead and early Android team member Chris DeSalvo stated, ‘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.””

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

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

Related articles:
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011


  1. So this means google copied apple.
    That shift came from Eric the mole being on apple’s board until he got found out and kicked out.

    I still think to this day that if Steve jobs hadn’t met Eric Schmidt that google would still only be in search and online advertising.

    Steve showed Eric a glimpse of apple’s culture and from that day on google wanted to be like apple.

    Steve was a genius but as a business man he sucked, just look at John sculley who manoeuvred out Steve from his own company.

    As a business owner I leant very early on never to totally trust people because they will crap on you especially when it comes to money.

  2. Apple open sourced Webkit, gave it to Google and Microsoft is History. Google could have done something really different than ripping off Apple’s iPhone GUI and still beat Microsoft. I don’t think Steve thought that Google would bite the hand that fed them.

    1. And that was steve’s flaw. He didn’t think it would happen twice.

      All along when he was having meetings with Eric, Eric was already scheming to ripoff Apple.

      I think it was Eric’s agenda all along.

          1. I think Eric Schmidt tried very hard to be a likeable person and basically sweet talked everyone into thinking he really was different.

            I’m sure he painted a rosy future where Apple and Google would work together on a truly useful device and not the real Google strategy of amassing eyeballs for fake pills and fleecing companies under the pretext of generating “con-versions”.

            At that point not many realised Eric Schmidt was backstabbing scum of the worst kind to walk on earth.

    2. I can imagine the meetings that Eric had with google after the meetings with Steve and Apple

      “Right guys I’ve met with Steve and found out that…”

      And now Apple is paying the price :((

    3. Apple open sources Webkit so that Safari would be compatable with all websites.

      If Webkit was Safari only the compatable websites would be around 10%.

      Almost every browser uses Webkit now and almost every website is compatable with Safari.

      Apple fixed the websit compatability problem by turning almost all browsers into Safari browsers.

  3. This is like watching an endless repeat of the History Channel. The moment I see Hitler come on screen I know they’re gonna talk about some shit about the war.

    1. A Classic sign of madness is repeatedly performing the same action and expecting a different result.
      You are clearly exhibiting those symptoms, so I would respectfully suggest, ZN, that you go and get some professional help.
      It would also relieve us of your incessant prattling.

    2. So watch History Channel, learn about World War II and remember. Just because WW II happened before you were born doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. You only have to look at what is going on in Ukraine and with Putin to see parallels.

      That would be a much better use of everyone’s time than reading and commenting about Google-Samsung-Apple patent lawsuits.

    3. There are one or two points of resemblance.

      In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler famously coined the term “big lie”: an outrageous assertion, repeated insistently and endlessly, begins to resemble the truth. It helps to have some control of the media whilst promoting such an assertion, and today, corporate bribes suffice to disseminate this new “truth”, probably even more effectively than the Nazis’ method of seizing the communications media at gunpoint.

      Beyond the use of defamatory propaganda for self-serving ends, both sides in the war between the Axis and the Allies used a variety of deceitful tactics to mislead each other: staged protests, forged and planted documents, manufactured rumours, sabotage, spy craft. Corporations today can select from this same dirty-tricks tool kit. The methods still work — people nowadays are just as fallible — partisan and tribal, gullible, greedy, ruthless — as they were in 1940.

  4. Funny that I read somewhere, I think CNUT or ZDNUT jobs that during court testimonials, Google Engineers were already working on Touch Screen Android. Prior to seeing the iPhone. So these guys can lie at court while this information is widely known and available?

    1. Sounds about right.

      Microsoft lied by falsifying evidence years ago to the monopolies commission. They got found out but no one got punished or put in prison.

      I wouldn’t put it past Samsung or google that they are lying in court, there’s too much money at stake.

      Google are a bunch of fakers, while Samsung don’t respect any western laws so between them apple is screwed regardless how much evidence apple has.

    2. They were working on one, but it was in its infancy. Once they saw the iPhone they dumped the black berry knockoff and went full steam with copying the iphone.

  5. Heck this has been out on the web for eons now.

    There were even posts by android developers who worked on both devices (the one with buttons and a full touch screen one) and explained how the development process went.

    Nothing new here.

  6. As a simple ‘member of the public’ and ‘customer’ it’s blatantly obvious to me Google and Samsung copied Apple.

    To me it’s so bloody obvious.

    But hey, what do I know…

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