On its fifth birthday, Android is “closer to our actual vision” for mobile supremacy

Daniel Bader

November 5, 2012 6:20pm

Android turns five today. The OS was announced in its 1.0 form on November 5th, 2007 as part of the Open Handset Alliance, a partnership between several companies including Google, Qualcomm and HTC. But Android is far away from the trackpack and keyboard-infused beast it was in 2007, and has graduated to market dominance in a few short years.

The New York Times recently performed an interview with John Lagerling, director of business development for Android, and came away with some interesting interpretations of the Nexus program. A few years ago, Nexus was a niche product, relegated to developers with deep pockets or travellers who wanted unlocked phones. Today, the Nexus line is a stinging three-pronged attack against the industry, undercutting prices of many OEMs and giving prospective smartphone and tablet users an affordable entry to the stock Android experience.

And what a difference that experience is from five years ago. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is one of the fastest mobile experiences available, a culmination of years of box checking, according to Lagerling. “We have the right teams and maturity to deliver what we’ve always wanted to do. We’re finally much more closer to our actual vision in the past year than we have ever been.”

He goes on to say that Motorola, as stated before, is firewalled from the rest of Google. “They stand where Sharp would stand, or Sony would stand or Huawei would stand. From my perspective as a partnership director, they are another partner. We are really walled between the Motorola team and the Android team. They would bid on doing a Nexus device just like any other company.”

And what about the lack of tablet apps? He, as most avid Android users would, admits that the situation is grim but improving: “I’ll be honest and say, yes, there was a lack of tablet apps that supported bigger screen real estate.” He adds that, until now, smartphone penetration was much more important to Google than the proliferation of tablets. But, to its peril, Google may have left its tablet ecosystem to stagnate for too long, and is now playing heavy catch-up as a result. While the Nexus 7 has improved matters somewhat, it may take the Nexus 10 succeeding for developers to finally rededicate themselves to the ecosystem.

With 75% of the smartphone market, Android is in a good position for a five year old. Even if growth slows in the coming quarters, which it is expected to, Google is still activating a million or so handsets every day. With the looming launch of the Nexus 4, Google is primed to find renewed success, bringing high-performance stock Android to even more markets around the world.


  • ActivesiN

    soon ill have 2 out of 3

  • aliwhatsit

    It came a long way. remember how crappy the G1 was? Good job Google.

    • Brad F(anboy)

      They were pretty optimistic back in those days, though. Rumour has it their original plan was to do something similar to what they’re doing today: Sell the Nexus phone directly on their website, subsidized to extremely attractive prices, and cut out the cell phone dealers as a middle man.

  • RyanOver

    NEXUS 10 the ultimate tablet
    NEXUS 7 the best 7″ tablet(but no SD Card Slot)
    NEXUS 4 the fastest phone on the market(but no LTE and SD Card Slot)

    for the NEXUS 10 and 7 their’s no Alternative
    but if you want the Ultimate SmartPhone go for the LG Optimus G(rooted ofcourse 😉 ) better camera (13 mp, LTE, more storage).


      Sorry but the ultimate device is the Galaxy Note 2 and it beats out any phone in every area, and especially battery life which the Nexus 4 is said to have Terrible battery life. The Galaxy Note 2 is very fast and I’d like to see a comparison when the Nexus 4 is released. The Galaxy Note 2 can also do much much more than any other device on the market. I wouldn’t trade my Galaxy Note 2 for 4 other devices, it’s that good. – KID ANDROID. ( Team.Android.Canada)

    • Dukey

      Nexus 10 has some stuttering issues to resolve before becoming the ultimate 10 incher. As for the Note, until it’s at Jelly Bean and loses it’s comical Touchwiz, well…

      Nexus 4 is as good as it gets without LTE (why can we have everything?)

  • David

    Happy birthday. Looks like I chose a good time to turn Android from PC ;’) Nexus 7, waiting for the Note 2, and will be picking up the Nexus 10 on launch day!! I am fully androided
    and I love you site.

  • Vengefulspirit99

    how is nexus 4 fastest…? Note 2 and s3 are much faster

    • Marc

      I really doubt that the S3 is faster than the Nexus 4. They both have an S4 chip, dual core in the S3 and quad core in the N4. And yes, in this case comparing the number of cores is applicable because they are the same chip with the same architecture.

    • RyanOver

      Pure Android experience has always been faster… no skin.
      and the lastest version of Android, that mean bugs fix… and the GPU on the Nexus 4 is much better Adreno 320

    • monsterduc1000

      @Vengefulspirit99: …and the Note 2 is using the older a9 chip architecture not the more efficient and faster a15.


    @aliwhatsit The G1 wasn’t actually a bad phone for it’s time! I have actually seen one in person running ICS 4.0. It was just Rogers who screwed up with that 911 update fiasco!!

    What I don’t understand is when they say there is a lack Android apps for tablets?!?! Everyone of my Android phone aps work on my 1rst Gen Transformer tablet!!

  • pawn

    Happy birthday Android! So glad i took a chance on the Htc Hero (my first android), never looked back since!

  • Brad F(anboy)

    2 things:

    “a culmination of years of box checking”

    I don’t think that’s the best approach, but I supposed it’s served them well enough the last few years (except for the part where “Project Butter” had to actually be a thing).

    “And what about the lack of tablet apps? He, as most avid Android users would, admits that the situation is grim but improving”

    Which is what I’ve been saying, but somehow when I say the exact same thing I’m wrong because I’m a fanboy.

    CHECKMATE, FANDROIDS! /trollolol

  • Tom

    I have complaints about Android, but I remember that when no one else could produce an OS that could directly compete with Apple (Nokia, Microsoft, and sadly even RIM were MIA), Android came out of nowhere to take them on.

    Google knows how to compete and how to Engineer, that’s for sure (yes, I know they bought Android), so happy birthday Android!

  • hunkyleepickle

    Apple, while incredibly refined, seems unwilling to take chances on new or experimental features until they are sure they function perfectly. Android seems to do the opposite, throw new innovations out there, analyze response to them, and then ‘tick the boxes’ but making those features more refined. Both approaches have their merits, but for me, ios is getting incredibly stale, and i’m ready to give android another try. Last android device i had was the original galaxy, and it drove me crazy. Always wanted a nexus one tho…..

  • Tester1234

    Benchmark wise, it clearly shows that Iphone 5 is still top of the line. Yet still many of you claim it’s an outdated product.

    I know you want to show support for the company of your choice but please don’t be so close minded.

    On the side note, the Nexus 4 running quad core s4 pro beats the galaxy 3 but only slightly not sure about the note II as benchmark has yet to come.

  • mjolnir

    Happy Birthday Android!

  • abc123

    I have an N1 at the moment. The N4 costs the same price as when I bought my N1, yet it is leaps and bounds better in every way and is cheaper than almost all other handsets within it’s spec range.

    Sure it is slower than the iphone 5, but will I notice? Probably not. Apps will probably launch milliseconds slower. Games will probably run the same. Webpages will probably be limited not by CPU but by 3G speeds anyway so, in my case, I probably won’t notice a damn thing.

  • andrew

    ok so if this reposts sorry, having issues posting.

    So i own a intl s3 and I use my phone mostly for media, comics, tv/movies, gaming, web browsing. I got the s3 to try and only have one device to carry instead of phone and ipod and etc around but finding I want a bigger screen.
    Thinking about selling the phone and trying to get the note 2 or picking up a nexus 7.
    So a few questions here:
    how unweildly do you find the note 2?
    has anyone used the nexus 7? how do you find it? any negatives?
    dont know if I should get one or the other as I dont want to have to carry a few devices around daily.
    what you guys think ?

  • no1

    Great job to Linux, Google and everyone on the OHA. Here’s to your future! *clink cheers*