Samsung could have bought Android before Google, but instead chose to laugh...

Samsung could have bought Android before Google, but instead chose to laugh Andy Rubin out of the boardroom with his offer and the whole 8-person Android team!

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The year is 2005. No smartphones yet (at least not at a level we accept them now), the network carriers control all the content, a lot of mess with versions of the operating systems and what works for Motorola hardly ever runs on Samsung. Mobile application developers run away from smartphones like they run away from hell, and those who really wanted to create something for mobile phones were literally forced to write new code for each model separately, often rewriting the same thing hundreds of time.

The revolution, however, was not that far away. Andy Rubin began working on an operating system that was first designed for digital cameras, but then captured smartphones too. He started off as an engineer at Carl Zeiss, but then worked on operating systems for handheld computers. He had the experience and support of a few engineers. In October 2003, he launched the Android project which ran out of money within a year that made him search for investors.

We all now know that in the end Andy Rubin comes to Google and everyone lives happily ever after. But a very few people know that Rubin first went to Samsung with the offer. The entire Android team of eight engineers flew to Seoul to meet with the largest handset maker.

In a meeting with 20 executives of Samsung, Rubin pitches the Android idea relentlessly, but instead of enthusiasm and questions, the only response he gets is dead silence. Then, Samsung’s team of high-ranked executives voices what seemed obvious then:

“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,” Rubin later recollects.

Indeed, in early 2005 Larry Page would agree to meet with Andy Rubin, and after hearing about his work on Android, he not just helps get the money – he decides that Google will acquire Android.

Google bought Android for $50 million by mid 2005, all eight team members of Android moved to Mountain View . And the rest, as they say, is history…

I guess it was never meant to be. Samsung was looking for a ready product whereas Google was in search of a great idea. Android and Google are a match made in heaven and it’s probably the best thing that Android didn’t end up with Samsung, after all.

reference: Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

  • MrSlyScott

    Irony; Samsung is Android’s largest ‘customer’.

    • J_Valentine

      Look up irony in the dictionary.

      • WhySoSerious

        The GP meant irony like rain on your wedding day.

        • thctimes

          …which is also wrong. It’s coincidental, irony is using words to describe something other than what you think it means. As J_Valentine says look it up -> “The use of words expressing something other than it’s literal intention”. Why can nobody understand the difference between coincidence and irony.

          • DD6675

            LOL morons.. look a little further: “a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.”

            Fits the bill.

          • MrSlyScott

            Thanks. Lol. (y)

      • disqus_P5QaajT0FS

        this is completely ironic. you’re an idiot.

  • Philippe Symons

    Well, I think it’s become pretty clear that no smartphone manufacturer has the power to push an OS through. This has become painfully clear with Tizen, MeeGO, Symbian, WebOS, …

    Apparently there’s need of a third party to let smartphone manufacterers coöperate on a single OS.

    So I’m really glad Android didn’t end up with Samsung. It’s pretty clear that it would have been dead by now.

  • DavisMarco

    It IS ironic!

  • craigsj

    “The year is 2005. No smartphones yet (at least they are not as smart as now), …”

    What an ignorant comment. No reason to read further.

    • Sean Dominguez

      I was in high school and wanted a MOTO RAZR. Yeah, not as smart as now.

      • librtee_dot_com

        So you’re ignorant too. Just because you didn’t know about it in high school, doesn’t mean that Palm/WinCE/etc. didn’t exist.

  • Core Logic