The Wall Street Journal posted a huge story today on “The Man Behind Android’s Rise” and it provided some great insight on Android’s humble beginnings. The part I found most interesting was that Google originally had contracted LG to build its first Android handset back when the OS was being kept mostly under wraps. In what could very well be seen as the greatest blunders in Android’s history, LG walked away from that deal. As we now know, this would lead Google to team up with a little known Taiwanese manufacturer by the name of HTC (known for their Windows Mobile devices), Qualcomm and T-Mobile to help launch the world’s first “Google Phone,” the HTC G1.
Before you slap your foreheads, LG may have had a good reason (in their minds) for originally walking away. The first Android protoype looked radically different from the beloved HTC G1 we know today. I’m not sure if we’ll ever know who manufactured this prototype (could it have been LG?) but in LG’s defense, maybe they weren’t quite turned on with the idea of a rival Blackberry device. Originally, Android was going to be the “open” alternative to Blackberry’s and Windows Mobile OS’s and LG was at the top of their game back in ’07 thanks to their touchscreen based LG Prada. After accusing Apple of stealing their design for the iPhone, a touchscreen OS based on apps later became Google’s focus as well.
So it seems we’ve come full circle with LG finally jumping on the Android bandwagon after no doubt seeing all the success the Google OS has brought to the many hardware and chipset manufacturers around the world. Only time will tell if the Korean manufacturer will make up for lost time and release the upcoming Nexus Three (Prime).