Five years ago this month, a press conference paved the way for the Android revolution

Five years ago this month, a press conference paved the way for the Android revolution
The way was paved for the subsequent Android revolution on October 6th, 2009. On that date, slightly more than five years ago, Eric Schmidt and Lowell McAdams met with the press. At the time, both men were the CEO of their respective firms, Google and Verizon Wireless. In those days, Verizon was not considered a likely Android vendor because of the way the carrier had locked down all of its handsets.

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?


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DROID
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor TI OMAP3430, Single core, 600 MHz
  • Battery 1400 mAh(6.41h talk time)

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33 Comments

1. cleat-glitch

Posts: 109; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

htc...wounder years

17. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Great advert, I'm guessing it was inspired by Sega. "Genesis does what Nintendon't".

2. palmguy

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

The lil OS that could. RIP webOS. :(

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5623; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

RIP I'm happy Matias Duarte went to Google after IMO he has made Android the best looking OS I use to hate the look of Android before Holo from 3.0 Honeycomb

31. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

LuneOS is gaining some steam. I have fingers and toes crossed.

3. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

I still have an OG droid as my back up phone in a drawer. I use it when I go camping and stuff. Love that keyboard.

5. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Those were the good old days when "Samsung" wasn't synonymous with "Android"...

7. Awalker

Posts: 1962; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I hope we get back to those days. I'm tired of people asking me if my Nexus 5 is a Samsung phone.

12. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Literally same...

18. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 884; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Dont bother about dumb people... They'll say whatever comes to their minds... Lack of knowledge...

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The Droid was nice, even the flat non travel keys were ok. That and the Samsung Omnia were my phones on Verizon. Ultimately went back to AT&T, and my 3GS.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I had an Omnia. An Omnia 2, also, but just as a play around phone. The 2 had really nice stereo speakers, they were loud and clear. I turned it into a media player for my son a few years ago, before I got him a Nexus 4. Its still around here, somewhere.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Omnia's were gorgeous with the little stylus lol, but windows mobile was kinda bad :(

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I should've stated, what made me leave Verizon, was the lack of simotaneous voice and data. That was a deal breaker bro, only AT&T and T-Mobile had it at the time...GSM.

32. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The International version of the Omnia 2 (i8000) had the best camera of that era. Just got rid of mine about 3 months ago.

8. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Still have my OG Droid. It was a blessing in disguise since the Iphone was exclusive to AT&T at the time and i was, and still am, with Verizon. I wanted an Iphone but refused to switch. By the time it came to Verizon, i was Droid all the way.

24. Awalker

Posts: 1962; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

My story is the same. I wanted an iPhone but didn't want to switch carriers so I got the OG Droid. Now, I'm team Android.

10. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

I have my DROID still. Can't wait for the Turbo.

11. mikeguy1981

Posts: 88; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

I cant stand it when people call all android devices droids. Its like i dont have a droid! i do however have a android OS galaxy s4.

13. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I can't stand it when people call all Android devices Samsungs. At least the Droids are worthy of being synonymous with Android, but Samsung, on the other hand, is ruining Android's reputation with its laggy TouchWiz and underwhelming design and build quality...

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Android is the dominant OS, with over 80% market share. How the heck is Samsung ruining its rep? Sometimes you should think before posting dude. Androids growing like weeds.

27. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

In the average Joe's mind: "Android" = "Samsung" and "Samsung" = "Laggy software and poor build quality". Therefore, "Android" = "Laggy software and poor build quality"...

23. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

But samsung deservers it... If moto made android known to everyone then samsung took android nook and corner of the world...the reason why android so popular today!!!!

14. JMartin22

Posts: 2327; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Samsung isn't ruining Android, it's making the platform more synonymous with mainstream consumption of it's handsets. More people get to experience Android and it's versatility than ever, thanks to Samsung.

16. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Wish I had kept my Droid. That thing was bulletproof! Have it to my sister when she dropped hers in water and she ruined it! The moral of the story is... Never let anyone "borrow" your iconic devices.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's how I am, my other rule is, I never loan my phone to someone who looks like they can outrun me lol. I saw that happen to a guy on the Strip once. Sad...

26. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

"never loan my phone to someone who looks like they can outrun me" ROFLMAO... Classic, I'll remember that!

25. tokuzumi

Posts: 1821; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Yep. It was this time 5 years ago that Sprint released the HTC Hero. I snagged that up the day it was released. I have been with Android ever since. My favorite device was the Evo 4G.

28. Eclectech

Posts: 339; Member since: May 01, 2013

This is the path I also followed. Had the HTC Hero, then went to the HTC Evo. Battery life was pretty awful back then, but I have such fond memories of that device (which sits in my phone archives).

29. smdpa

Posts: 25; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

It is always good to remember the thieves.

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