Let’s face it, while the iPhone is not the first touchscreen device to hit the market, it was probably the smartphone that helped kick off the smartphone revolution and made touchscreen devices a lot more desirable than back in the day. While it might be presumptuous to assume that Apple was the only company working on a smartphone back in the day, it seems that whatever they did was enough to make the competition stop and think about the direction that they were headed, which is exactly how some folks at Google felt.
According to former Apple engineering lead, Chris DeSalvo, who was also an early Android team member, it seems that when the iPhone made its debut back in 2007, it was enough to blow them away to the point where Google had to re-evaluate where Android was headed. Speaking in an interview with Fred Vogelstein for an upcoming book on the origins of the Android versus iPhone war, DeSalva was quoted as saying (via The Atlantic), ”As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over,’”
Android’s co-founder Andy Rubin echoed those sentiments as well when he was reportedly quoted as telling a colleague, “Holy crap, I guess we’re not going to ship that phone,” after seeing Steve Jobs’ presentation for the first iPhone. Vogelstein’s book, Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution is available on Amazon for $17.92 for the Kindle version.