The inception of Android, a mobile operating system developed by Google, can be traced back to 2003, with the founding of Android Inc. Early key figures in that company were Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc.), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (Head of Design and UI at WebTV).
Their initial goal was to develop products that were aware of their owner’s location and preferences, as well as an operating system for modern digital cameras. Eventually, Google acquired Android Inc. in 2005.
First smartphone device
On September 23, 2008, the T-Mobile G1 known as the HTC Dream was first announced. This was the first commercially available smartphone running Android, marking the beginning of the OS’s remarkable path to glory.
Apple released the first iPhone more than a year before, and the two events could not be more different. The iPhone has been considered the go-to smartphone during the time because of the design of the phone and the simplicity of iOS. Meanwhile, the first Android device still had a physical keyboard. At that moment, it seemed that the winner in the smartphone race was already decided in Apple’s favor. But a surprising twist soon ensued.
Android takes over
It was Google’s open approach to creating a mobile platform that quickly proved as the recipe for success. A little less than three years later, Android became the ruler of the booming smartphone market.
The chart shows the incredible growth of the smartphone market over the past decade. The rise was mainly due to Android devices, with sales exceeding one billion for the first time in 2014.
As for more recent developments, global sales of Android smartphones reached 1.3 billion units in 2017. This was in correspondence to the 86% market share for Google’s mobile operating system. This continued in the second quarter of 2018 when Android’s global market share was 88%, compared to iOS’s 11.9%.
We’ve seen this OS take to other devices such as TVs and automobiles. However, just considering the statistics on mobile devices alone shows that Android will continue to grow in that market for the years to come.
Photo credits: The infographic has been made available by Statista. All other images shown are owned by Google/Android and were provided for press usage.