Five years ago this month, a press conference paved the way for the Android revolution
During the press conference, it was announced that Verizon would sell two Android powered models for 2009, to be offered by two unnamed manufacturers. Verizon said that it would continue rolling out Android devices over the next few years (gotta chuckle when you read that). The Android handsets would come loaded with apps provided by the carrier, Google and third party developers. Nobody knew it at the time, but the smartphone market was about to undergo a huge shift.
Earlier that year, the Palm Pre wowed the crowd at CES and it was assumed that Palm's handset would assume the mantle of top Apple iPhone challenger. But poor marketing and lack of a wide selection of apps surprisingly left the door open when October rolled around. By that time, there had been leaks about a device called at various times, the Motorola Sholes, the Motorola Tao and the Motorola DROID. On October 1st, images of the device leaked. On the same date, we reported that the device would be called the Motorola DROID and would support Adobe Flash.
On November 5th, Verizon launched the Motorola DROID and the HTC DROID Eris. It was the former model, of course, that kicked off Androidmania. At the time, we wrote about its "massive" 3.7 inch screen. The DROID was a huge hit. With Verizon customers unable to buy the Apple iPhone 3GS, Big Red's subscribers were desperate for a high-end device that could do the things that the iPhone could do, and do the things that the iPhone couldn't (surely you remember the 'everything iDon't, DROID Does' ads).
Even though the DROID was available for only two months in 2009, it was named Time Magazine's Device of the Year. The Android platform was on its way to becoming the dominant mobile platform on the planet. Who would have thought that this was ahead for Android five years ago?