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Smartphones will never catch on … will they?

In 2008 we ran a story about the first Android phone, the brick-like HTC Dream. How times have changed and how quickly, as omnipresent Android is in our cars, TVs and even turns off our lights.

rise of android

This post has been dusted off and brought out of the 50connect archive. It’s a reminder of a time when people knew how to hold a conversation face to face. A time when people read books and could hold eye contact. A time before people fell under the spell of the LCD screen in their pocket, brought to them to make their lives better by Apple and Google.

The smartphone is now so embedded in our lives that we almost run on autopilot and leave the difficult stuff to Google and Siri. Recipes, navigation, spelling and grammar – rack your brain or use your smartphone? I think we all know the answer to that.

Well, in 2008 before we got used to being augmented by Android, this is how the future of mobile telephony looked


T-Mobile G1 handset is the first device to run the search giant’s operating system which will feature a touch screen as well as a Qwerty keyboard.
[Editor’s note: In 2021 there is someone in the 50connect office who still insists on using a handset with a Qwerty keyboard.]

It will be available for free on T-Mobile tariffs of over £40 a month and includes unlimited net browsing.

Other features include a three megapixel camera, a ‘one click’ contextual search and a browser that users can zoom in on by tapping the screen.

The handset will be wi-fi and 3G enabled and has built-in support for YouTube.

Users will also have access to the so-called Android Market, where they will be able to download a variety of applications.

Google announced its plans for the Android phone software in November 2007 with a declared aim of making it easier to get at the web while on the move.

Google faces stiff competition from established players such as Nokia with its Symbian software … and more recently Apple has been gaining customers with its much hyped iPhone

HTC Dream - the android pioneer
HTC Dream: The third-party apps and clunky user interface wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea at launch

To help develop Android, Google also unveiled the Open Handset Alliance – a partnership of more than 30 firms that would work to make phone software easier to work with. The group includes operators such as Telefonica, handset makers such as HTC and Motorola as well as chip makers such as Intel and Qualcomm.

Many of the partners demonstrated early prototype Android phones at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona in mid-February.

The idea behind Android is to do for phone software what the open source Linux software has done for PCs. Developers of phone software can get at most of the core elements of the Android software to help them write better applications.

Google and Open Handset Alliance (OHA) developed the Linux-based Android operating system

However, in launching Android, Google faces stiff competition from established players such as Nokia with its Symbian software and Microsoft with its Mobile operating system. More recently Apple has been gaining customers with its much hyped iPhone.

The Android software is squarely aimed at the smartphone segment of the handset market which adds sophisticated functions to the basic calling and texting capabilities of most phones. Current estimates suggest that only 12-13% of all handsets can be considered smartphones.


Impressive, eh? Android took a little while to find its feet but when it did it showed the Symbian platform the same exit door taken by the dodo and the dinosaurs. How we love our smartphones now!

Image by neo tam from Pixabay

Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 10:49 pm Home & Lifestyle

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