Technically speaking, smartphones have been around for a while. However it was probably until 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone that the smartphone race really kicked off. That being said it seems that at one point in time, Samsung could have gotten a leg up on the competition in a very big way had they made their decision differently. Back in 2003, Andy Rubin was working on a version of Android then and after a year’s worth of work, he decided that he would pitch the software to a company who might have the resources to take his software to the next level. However the company he approached first was not Google, but Samsung.
At that time, Android’s team consisted of eight people and they all flew out to Seoul, South Korea, to meet up with Samsung who was (and probably still is) one of the largest phone makers. Unfortunately Samsung did not bite. Instead, according to Rubin (via Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution), their response who them telling the Android team, “‘You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us.” Of course this sort of worked out for Samsung in the end as the South Korean tech giant is probably the biggest name when it comes to making Android devices, but to think that they could have been the ones to control Android’s distribution, how different the world might look today.