LG Originally Chosen By Google To Build First Android Device But Backed Out


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).

[WSJ via UnwiredView]


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Lg has been kicking themselves ever since.

  2. Glad HTC did it instead. Haven’t seen anything good from LG yet, but HTC is a different story. It also undeniably gave HTC its real start.

    1. Agreed, never heard of htc until Android

      1. They were big with WM phones. I had an HTC Touch (one of their first WM phone) up until earlier this year.

      2. I had the HTC Dash I believe it was called, model s620. You know you’re a geek when you can’t remember the name of your phone but you know the model number! It was a great winmo phone. Loved HTC ever since.

    2. G2x was good albeit overshadowed by the htc sensation but it was good and to deny that makes you insane.

  3. Same applies to SONY ERICSON, Goggle approach them to develop a NEXUS device and they simply declined. Now that google bought motorola, every manufacture will be fighting to become the next marquee NEXUS phone.

  4. Chris, it’s not HTC G1. It’s either HTC Dream, or T-Mobile G1. :-)

    1. Oh snap! Haven’t heard the “Dream” in so long! Taking me way back. Will update the post =)

    2. That is splitting hairs just a bit, I’d say. Yea, it was branded the “T-Mobile G1” here in the states, but the manufacturer was still HTC (even if was known as the “Dream” in company specs and in Europe). I have an original T-Mobile MyTouch 3G. It’s an HTC device.

      1. it was called the G1 in Britain?

      2. Yeees, I know. My OCD levels are higher these days. I’ll admit, calling it the HTC G1 isn’t as bad as people calling my phone a “Droid” (I’ve never been a Verizon customer).

        1. I know. I grind my teeth everytime someone calls any Android phone they run across a “Droid” And @adi19956, not sure of the G1’s exact name in the UK (whether Dream or G1)

  5. Nexus Prime <3333

  6. Chris I think you answered my question, but am I reading this right? Do we not know for sure who is making the next Nexus phone? I know it’s been rumored that it was LG first, then HTC, and the last thing I remember was Samsung with the Nexus Prime.

    1. Nobody knows as of yet. Rumors are all over the place on this one.

      1. Except most likely it’ll be by samsung as the leaked Samsung roadmap showed a 4.7″ device with ICS on the list. Pretty solid rumour.

  7. prada + android = amazing ,

  8. Still running the G1 but now with Ginger Yoshi (Android 2.3.5). I got it a year after it came out and so far have been hesitating on getting something to replace it. Partly because of the pending T-Mobile merger and partly because new phones seem to be outdated a month after they come out. I managed to skip the G2 and the Sensation so far. Waiting on the Hercules or possibly the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2 variant, though i’d really like to wait out for the next Nexus. I’d like a phone with 720p screen resolution. To be honest, though, I think i’m going to miss the 5 row keyboard on the G1.

    1. You still have a G1??? You poor, poor man. I no doubt loved my G1, but after I switched to a phone with a screen bigger then 3.2 inches it felt like I could finally breath. But yea chances are I’m getting the Hercules because of the killer 42mbps radio(not to mention that it’s a GSII device). If rumors reveal the the next Nexus will also be getting the 42mbps radio then I’m getting that instead.

    2. If you get the 4.5 Hercules you won’t miss the keyboard at all. Virtual keyboards are excellent on larger screen phones.

  9. hah, thank god.. do you people even realize LG = Lucky GOLDSTAR?

    1. My first ever DVD player was a GOLDSTAR and it’s actually still working. (Altough it’s made it’s way to the bedroom TV as the Blu-Ray player is now hooked to the living room plasma.)

  10. It’s too bad the original concept by LG Prada that gave Apple life didn’t happen for LG.

  11. Funny how the notification bar in the prototype is black

    1. I guess we have a different sense of humor, what’s funny about a black notification bar?

  12. And Mazda was the only company to put the Wankel in a production car and make it work. Everyone else(GM, Chrysler, AMC) never made it happen.

    Good for HTC

  13. I probably would have bought that phone… I was rocking a Moto Q phone for work, at the time, and I was looking to replace my AT&T smartphone with something like the Q, but with better web browsing.

    IMO, The iPhone succeeded on the strength of its web browser. That’s why I bought a first-gen model, back before apps were available. If WinMo had included a “full” browser at the time, I am willing to bet this would have been an entirely different marketplace today.

    1. I disagree, I don’t think the browser is as important as other apps for most people. I’m on the net a good 10 hours a day and I probably use my phones browser once a week. Maybe it was more important years ago but I think these days specialized apps are seeing more use then the browser. Facebook, twitter, etc. Also phone apps predate the iPhone although I’m sure apple will tell you different.

  14. Same here never heard of HTC till Android. But i think i remember a bit they have a Windows phone but didn’t sell too well. Until Sprint started up with the hole power Android phone line up.

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