Prior to Steve Jobs unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android didn’t support touchscreen input

“One of the more interesting documents that came to light during the Apple-Samsung [trial] last week was an early internal Google document on what Android looked like as of 2006 — before Apple had unveiled the iPhone,” Ina Fried reports for Re/code.

“The “Android Project Software Functional Requirements” document was what Google was showing — confidentially, at the time — to potential hardware makers about where its phone operating system was headed,” Fried reports. “Android, at that point, was based on Linux 2.6, and didn’t actually have support for touchscreens.”

Fried reports, “‘Touchscreens will not be supported,’ Google said in a 2006 specification for Android devices. ‘The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the products architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.'”

Read 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 Readers “Arline M.” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
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. 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.’”

    This is telling isn’t it? Start over because they didn’t have touch! Bring DeSalvo to the witness stand.

      1. Probably because as a simple engineer he was not privy to the ‘decisions’ nor thought processes actually made by his superiors. As a result it would simply be his opinions and no lawyer will use such a witness since it will not contribute to the fact-finding based on rules that our court system is based on.. Yes, juries can be swayed by emotion but that is another area of lawyering and really should not be used if ‘justice’ based on established law is desired.

          1. Perhaps, but I don’t remember Google ever saying Android was completely original.. They acknowledge that they were influenced and inspired by what came before. This may include Apple’s iPhone but can also be heavily due to the works of myriad other companies like Palm/Handspring, Fujitsu, Casio, etc.

  2. “Holy crap,” he said to one of his colleagues in the car. “I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”

    Andy Rubin the moment he heard the news of iPhone. In that moment, Rubin was on his way to CES to negotiate with a handset maker about producing Google phone.

    DeSalvo was also overheard saying, “What we had suddenly looked just so . . . nineties,” DeSalvo said. “It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it.”

    At or around the time of iPhone’s launch, Google was expressing their fear of Microsoft shipping a phone with Microsoft Search, which could jeopardize Google’s Ad revenue generated by their Search.

    “It’s hard to relate to that [fear of Microsoft] now, but at the time we were very concerned that Microsoft’s mobile strategy would be successful,” Schmidt said in 2012 during testimony in the Oracle v. Google copyright trial.

    Google was caught completely off guard by iPhone.

    Google’s own OS powered Sooner, the phone they were prepping for launch, and supposedly their OS was superior to Symbian or Windows CE because it could multitask, had a full internet browser, run Google’s software, but Sooner was a butt-ugly phone. It was a black berry knockoff with a chicklet keyboard and it didn’t support a touch interface.

      1. Not quite sure that would be the verdict if you consider that touch interfaces for similar sized devices existed prior to the iPhone in the form of PDAs (yes, resistive and not capacitive but still ‘touch’) and that the ‘after’ image constantly used to make the point that Android is ‘similar’ looking is one where the Android ‘desktop’ screen is never shown, instead a image with Android’s App drawer open is shown.. That’s like showing and image of a desk drawer open and because it looks like Apple’s ‘desk’ claim it was a total rip-off..

  3. in the boy vs boy world, this is penis envy at its most reprehensible. everybody thought the google boys were no way unethical …but what a stinking underbelly they were discovered to have. I’ve divorced myself from all things google ..just like I’ve divorced myself from most things china walmart’s a hard one but I try

      1. I don’t quite get it. Wasn’t it Dr. Sigmund Freud, Male Extraordinaire, who came up with that phrase in the first place, and used it extensively? Why would one think that now only females refer to it? You have some subtle twist in mind that eludes us.

        1. Well then, perhaps you can explain what she meant?

          There are no “boys” in this business dilemma, just unoriginal men on one side allegedly misappropriating another man’s intellectual property. Lust comes to mind, but penis envy? That’s some leap for me.

          You have some subtle twist in mind that eludes us.

          By “us” you mean women in general, I presume? Contrary to what women may think, not every man is is born with this “penis” affliction. Perhaps that seed was planted in a man’s mind by a woman. I can say without equivocation, I am quite comfortable in my skin.

          I find your use of the label “Male Extraordinaire” sexist, offensive, and patronizing, as though Everyman holds that doctor in high esteem.

          1. I just didn’t understand your sentence. But you’re right, I was preening a bit too much. My apologies.

            Actually, I quite admire Freud’s boldness in investigating the mysterious human mind. And I see some of his ideas being refreshed in recent findings of cognitive neuroscience.

            1. oh, come on, G4 …it wasn’t literal …call it lust if you want …call them men if you want them criminals ..but getting your panties in a wad, my gosh, G4’s not very becoming.

              Hannah, are so diplomatic. As you know, I do a bit of time travel. I looked up death records for this period ..I see that G4 does manage to live a nice, long life ..but, as irony would have it, the certificate does record his passing due to a major bout of penis envy. And heaven only knows, my presence here may have been dreamed up by Charles Dickens. Merry Christmas G4. hahaha! 🙂

              All my love,

    1. When you work with ‘intuitive’ interfaces I believe you leave yourself open to criticism as to how ‘innovative’ your patent idea is. For example, the heavily contested “Slide to Unlock” patent relies on the relatively common concept of ‘unlocking’ a door/portal. Just because you use the motion familiar with the security device that will hold/release a door in the context of ‘opening’ your mobile device does not make it a patentable idea.. However, the implementation of that idea is patentable if the implementation is wholly original and NOT obvious to persons in the same industry.

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