Early Android screens indicate its “dumbphone” beginnings, conservative estimates for total smartphone activations

Daniel Bader

April 25, 2012 5:49pm

Early screenshots of Android from 2007, released today during the Oracle-Google trial, are bringing to light just how far the operating system has come aesthetically since its beginnings.

As Google stated in its initial Android device specifications, “Touchscreens will be supported. However, the Product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption, therefore a touchscreen cannot completely replace physical buttons.” The platform was designed with directional pads and QWERTY keyboards in mind, with much smaller screens than even the initial 3.2-inch touchscreen of the HTC G1.

But the fundamentals were all in place, including separate apps for Gmail, Camera, YouTube and more. Considering the Android that we know today, which supports exceptionally high resolution screens of seemingly infinite size, the team has done much to improve the situation in five short years.

Google also had lofty goals for its tablet sales, estimating that it would sell 10 million slabs in 2011, doubling that number in 2012. While those numbers were gross overestimates — we have tallies more in the realm of a couple million — its smartphone numbers were all too conservative. As Andy Rubin said in a post yesterday, Google has activated more than 300 million Android phones around the world, eclipsing its 2013 estimate of 220 million smartphones.

Source: The Verge (2)

  • Lawlerballer


  • Andrew

    Anyone else reminded of iOS 5 when looking at those screenshots?

    • Rio

      Really? It reminds me more of Blackberry’s Android was copying before it switched to copying iOS. lol

  • Collin

    Way to go android!!! it was a long road to #1 but you’ve done it!!! leaving IOS in your dust trail!!!

  • androidForLife

    Wow. It is amazing how much more like iTurds the Android team has made Android today. I had no idea it was so heavily influenced. That is the true beauty of Android. It can be anything. If the first try was that mess in the pics, then it is easy to just take what works for others and implement it. Since they aren’t selling it they can’t really be said to have stolen it…they just freed it. This is the only reason I want to keep Apple around. Google engineers might be brilliant but they need guidance on UI and UX and Apple does do that pretty well, so Googlers can use their work as their template and we all win.

  • Alex

    Didn’t look like iOS at that time. Wonder what happened.

    • Lawlerballer

      The iPhone got released and Google saw the popularity in a capacitive touch screen based phone

  • wewewi

    About tablets..
    Nice to see that with a 20 million install base plus 10 more millions sales in 2012 Android should end up with 35 millions devices in 2013!

    Those are court documents??
    Nice work!

  • Anuj Ahooja

    Not really dumbphones…more along the lines of BlackBerry and WinMo6. Basically, they were working with what the market wanted out of smartphones during the time. Google was smart enough to realize that Apple had the right idea. They evolved before they fell into a trap while others sat back and laughed at the iPhone. Smart move on their part, and now they’re pushing way ahead than any other company is.

    • kwes26

      Pushing way ahead how? Their latest OS that was released around 6 mouths ago is only in 3% of Androids… Developers are losing interest… The only thing Androids are good for is if you want a buggy phone with a huge pixelated screen and LTE that gets around 3 hours of battery life.

  • doit

    How are the screenshots of an OS concentrated on physical keyboard and d-pad is indicative of “dumbphone” beginnings? Is this some Apple propaganda to make people believe that anything without a touch-screen is NOT a smartphone? So in your opinion WM6 was a dumbphone OS, too? Ridiculous title for a respectful tech blog.

    • Rio

      No Touch screen, horrible resolution, useable games/apps = very little if any. Cant do much other than very basic browsing, email and phone. Therefore not a smartphone go rant somewhere else