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Did you know: Android was originally designed for digital cameras not phones

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Android is associated with smart devices . It’’ s the most popular mobile os on the planet, powering more than 2.5 billion active gadgets . A lot of individuals wear’’ t understand that the’OS wasn ’ t initially developed for phones.


At the financial top in Tokyo back in 2013, Andy Rubin —– the co-founder of Android —– exposed that Android was initially produced digital cams . The strategy was to develop a video camera platform that would consist of cloud storage for videos and images. That method, users most likely wouldn’’ t need to depend on an electronic camera ’ s onboard storage as much and might quickly access their pictures from several gadgets. Throughout his speech in Japan’’ s capital, Rubin even revealed the slides he utilized to pitch the concept to financiers back in 2004. The interest was obviously low, so he wasn’’ t able to seal the deal at the time.


We chose digital video cameras wasn’t in fact a huge adequate market.

Andy Rubin.

Five months after that conference, Andy Rubin and the rest of the Android group chose to alter their technique. They determined that the electronic camera market wasn’’ t huge enough and saw a chance in the mobile phone sector. After making the needed modifications to the OS, Android as we understand it was born .

The group didn’’ t wish to charge for software application as their competitors did at the time, due to the fact that they thought the market was too cost delicate. Rather, they desired Android to be complimentary and work as a platform for offering other product and services (apps, video games, and so on). Development was the name of the video game. By providing the software application totally free, there was a much greater possibility of striking handle phone makers.

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But to make that strategy a truth, they required a fantastic partner with deep pockets. Here’’ s where Google is available in. The tech huge purchased Android in July 2005 and worked with Andy Rubin as the senior vice president of digital and mobile material. The business set out on an objective to catch a 9 percent market share in North America and Europe in the next 5 years.

Those expectations were extremely surpassed, as Android held around 24% of the marketplace in North America by the end of 2010 —– which was simply the start. Today, Android powers more than 80% of all smart devices in usage.

.The power of a single choice.

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The choice to concentrate on mobile phones rather of digital electronic cameras was undoubtedly the best one to make. Simply take a look at the numbers: according to Statista, mobile phone sales increased from around 122 million in 2007 to 1.5 billion in 2019. Digital electronic camera sales, on the other hand, decreased from around 100 million in 2007 to simply 15 million in 2019. The market peaked in 2010, with international sales reaching around 121 million systems.

We wear’’ t understand precisely what would have occurred if Andy Rubin and his group stayed with the initial prepare for Android, however we presume the OS wouldn’’ t have actually been much of a success. The Android we understand today simply wouldn’’ t exist.


Related: Compact cam vs mobile phone shootout: It’’ s not even close


It ’ s possible that Google wouldn’’ t have actually even gotten in the marketplace which Microsoft might have accomplished more success with its Windows Mobile platform . Heck, Symbian may have turned into a more open os and Nokia would still be the king of smart devices. It’’ s enjoyable to consider these things, although it’’ s clearly all speculation. What we can state with certainty is that the mobile phone market would be entirely various today without the Android developers’ ’ pivot to mobile phones.

This story simply goes to demonstrate how a single choice can make or break a company. As Stephen R. Covey composed in his very popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , ““ If the ladder is not raiding the ideal wall, every action we take simply gets us to the incorrect location much faster.””


Luckily for Rubin, his ladder was raiding the best wall … ultimately. His choice to focus the OS on smart devices rather of cams made him a millionaire and was the start of Android all of us like and understand. To remember, Google paid $50 million for Android, which was a take offered the success of the OS, however it’’ s still a great deal of cash in general.

This is the 2nd post in our ““ Did you understand ” series in which we dive into the Android history books to reveal intriguing and essential realities or occasions that have actually been forgotten gradually. What do you wish to see us cover next? Let understand in the remarks.


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