Samsung is one of the most prolific carriers of Google’s Android. Save a couple of half-hearted Windows Phone efforts over the past couple of years, the Korean company has consistently churned out swathes of smartphones running the ubiquitous software, and considering how many hundreds of millions of handsets out there are on Android, the $50 million Google paid to acquire Android nearly a decade ago looks a shrewd bit of business. But it has now emerged that in actual fact, Andy Rubin, one of the founding members of the Android team, actually pitched the product to the Galaxy maker out in Seoul, a proposition that Samsung unequivocally – and perhaps, regrettably – baulked at.
Sure, Google has placed a great deal of research into refining Android from what it was in 2005 to version 4.4.2 KitKat, but the base product was there, and Samsung, which spends tens of millions annually on advertising alone, had the chance to invest in Android before Google went ahead and bought it out.
Paraphrasing, Rubin recalls that a room of about ten Samsung execs turned their noses up at the small Android team back in 2005 when it went in search of funding for the promising project:
‘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
When Rubin went to meet Larry Page, the Google co-founder went one better than the investment that Android was looking for, and instead made a move to acquire the product. Conscious of the fact that the mobile landscape was perhaps on the cusp of a dramatic shift, Android was to be Google’s primary weapon in battle, although little did the company know that it would be Apple – not Microsoft, as many had supposed – that would step in and change the game.
Since Google doesn’t manufacture devices, keeps Android open-source, and has continued to enhance the product dramatically thanks to its dedicated team, I think we can count ourselves fortunate that the Big G bought into Rubin’s ideas. With all due respect to Samsung, the search giant’s software development arsenal is far superior to the Galaxy maker’s, and with Samsung also being an OEM, we might, or perhaps, almost certainly will have had another mobile OS exclusive to one brand.
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