Google’s Android OS is now 10 years old and powers over 88% of the world’s smartphones.
Widely believed to be Google’s response to the iPhone, the first Android phone was publicly released on October 20, 2008 — the same year Apple revealed it’s first iPhone.
Android debuted with the HTC-made T-Mobile G-1 in the US, which was later marketed outside the US as the HTC Dream.
When it entered the market, this new operating system had to compete with Nokia’s Symbian, Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s iOS. However, due to it’s open-source nature and versatility (it is supported on multiple platforms), it is now the most dominant operating system out there.
Initially, Android was lagging behind its competitors but with the release of the Motorolla DROID in 2009, the Android OS was paired with powerful enough hardware to support all of the system’s features.
The same year in June, Samsung launched the Galaxy i7500, its first phone to run Android. Although the phone failed to attract buyers, the company tried again with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S in June 2010. This phone is considered the first real iPhone competitor.
Google then tried its hand at making its own smartphones with the hugely successful Nexus series, pairing up with HTC to release the Nexus One in January 2010. It ran stock Android, which meant that its interface felt less bloated than other Android-powered smartphones at that time. It also meant that the Nexus One was faster.
Google later partnered with LG and Samsung to release future models of the Nexus series up till 2016 when the Nexus was discontinued to make way for Google’s Pixel.
In the past the decade, Android has found its place not only in the world of smartphones and tablets, but also in televisions, cars, smartwatches and a range of connected smart devices.