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What if Samsung owned Android? The story of how Samsung passed Andy Rubin's startup for Google to swoop in

Samsung is no doubt the biggest mobile manufacturer in the world and currently controls 31.3 percent of the global smartphone market share compared to Apple’s 15.3 percent in the second place. As fa

samsung-android-smartphone

Samsung is no doubt the biggest mobile manufacturer in the world and currently controls 31.3 percent of the global smartphone market share compared to Apple’s 15.3 percent in the second place. As far as software and OS is concerned though, the giant still has to depend upon Google for Android. But what if Samsung owned Android? Just imagine how different this mobile race would have been if Samsung had all the control over Android. According to the book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein, the South Korean giant had such a chance and it let it slip through its fingers (via PhoneArena).

Back in the early part of the millennia, when the mobile space was starkly different from today, a group of enthusiastic engineers led by one Andy Rubin started working on a new OS. This OS was initially meant for digital cameras, but soon Rubin decided to instead build it for mobile phones. After about a year when funds began to dry out, the team decided to pitch the idea to a big company in the hopes for an investment.

The team of eight engineers flew to Seoul, where they had to present their idea in a room filled with about 20 high-ranking Samsung executives. The presentation though didn’t go as expected and in the words of Rubin they were, “laughed out of the board room.”

Two years later, in 2005 their luck changed when Google’s Larry Page agreed to meet Rubin and his team. Page and Sergey Brin had been looking at breaking into the mobile platform, which according to them had a lot of potential. This presentation went much better than before and instead of just investing in Android, Google acquired the company for $50 million.

  • Published Date: February 17, 2014 6:23 PM IST
  • Updated Date: February 17, 2014 6:24 PM IST